Monday, May 12, 2014

Super Easy Method for Digital Inking

I'm starting a new graphic novel project, and I've been thinking alot about how I want to go about inking it this time. I really want to break away from traditional inking--honestly, I was thinking about going purely digital. By doing all of the artwork digitally, what I draw is the inked version. I wouldn't have to go over the same artwork twice, therefore saving me some time.

But then I read this awesome article at, and it just changed everything!

I have a lot to say about reMIND--mainly about the book that Jason Brubaker wrote about creating his graphic novel. It is a great read, and I recommend anyone that is planning on creating their own graphic novel to go and pick up a copy of it. It really is a must have book for graphic novelists that are planning on going the self-published route, and I'm planning on writing a post about why it is in the very near future.

Anyways, this article shows how to scan in your pencil drawings and manipulate them in Photoshop so that the lines look like they've been inked. This method may not work for some drawing styles, but it is perfect for mine. Check it out:

This is the original scan.

This is how it looks after adjusting the values in Photoshop. I cleaned up the lines a little using the eraser tool.

This is a character with dark hair and dark skin, so I added those tones too.

I love this method for two reasons:

1. I'm the type of artist that hates being chained to the computer. The idea of doing it all digitally was exciting when I thought of the quality, but I did cringe a little at the thought of losing mobility. With this method I can still draw in bed or in the car or wherever.

2. I only have to draw pages once instead of twice! (Penciling a page and then going over it again with ink is redundant) This means soooo much in terms of art quality. In the past I've actually cut back on detail in favor of speed. Inking highly detailed pages takes a lot of time and can be tedious. Now that I only have to draw pages one time, that gives me more time to add more detail to clothes, backgrounds, and all kinds of stuff.

Which means my art will be much prettier.

This technique really impacted how I was planning to draw this graphic novel and even the design of the characters. Really exciting stuff.