Monday, September 14, 2009

A bit of process.

I thought I'd demonstrate a bit of process featuring a new piece I've been working on.

The first thing I do, is a tight sketch. I use a lead holder filled with H lead. For erasing I just use one of those Pink Pearl erasers that we all know from elementary school.

Next, I throw a sheet of tracing paper over the sketch and using a ball point pen (very hi-tech) trace a tight outline of the sketch making any necessary changes along the way.

Then if I like that version of the drawing I will transfer the drawing to a sheet of cold press watercolor paper. This is where things get interesting. Inking is by far my favorite part of the process. Inking on cold press paper isn't exactly an easy task and it takes a lot of patience, concentration, and tools. I use FW acrylic ink because it is a good deep black and is absolutely waterproof. When using my bottle ink, a use an array of brushes. A number one round (which is basically, like a nose hair), a number two round, and then I skip up to a number four round which gives great big fat lines but still holds a decent point. If I want to ink something quickly I count on my Pentel Pocketbrush. Which holds a fine little nose hair point but can also make big fat number four lines. It also blessedly, has deep dark black ink that is indistinguishable from the FW Ink. It is by far my most prized tool and I don't know what I used to do with out it. For straight lines I use a Micron number three pen. I firmly believe that one day my hand will be steady enough to ink straight lines with a brush...but today is not that day.

And that's all there is to it. Stay tuned for the finished painting, in a day or two.


  1. I don't do much inking but I learned a way to use a ruler to guide/rest your hand on to make straight lines with a brush. It came from this fantastic book that has other good tips and tricks:

    The Complete Book of Cartooning
    by John Adkins Richardson

    Richardson was an underground/fantasy comic artist in the 70s/80s

  2. Thanks Pete! I'll definitely have to look into that book. I remember way back in high school even, having an art teacher try to teach me how to ink straight lines with a brush and ruler. She made it look so easy! However, it's something I still can't do. Maybe the book will give me the missing piece that'll make it all click in my head and hands.