Thursday, September 20, 2007

Inking Problems

I'm at a weird place right now artistically. While I don't think it qualifies as "artist's block" (which I have experienced), I've been unhappy and tentative about my inking the past several pages.

I've never considered myself a particularly proficient inker, but even by my standards I haven't been very satisfied with the past few pages I've done. I suspect that the problem may lie in the penciling--which, after all, is the foundation of the drawing--but strangely enough I've been pleased enough with the pencils to move on to the inking stage. But I've found the finished pages disappointing!

I use a combination of a standard Uniball pen and a Windsor & Newton 3 brush for my finishes (brush is a fairly traditional and common inking tool in cartooning), but I've been dissatisfied enough recently that I've been experimenting with other inking tools. Right now I'm trying out a disposable brush pen.

Strangely enough, as challenging as a brush can be for me, making a change isn't so easy. Like many cartoonists, the brush is a familiar tool, and I find other tools off-putting. For example, even though I love the look of my sketches using standard felt-tip pens (usually done at conventions for fans), I tend to freeze up when using it for finished work.

This is a great time to be an artist, as there are numerous inking choices. But one has to be careful about being sure to use a device that uses permanent ink. Some inks fade over time, while others are not waterproof and may easily smear.

Anyway, I thought I'd just post this to show what kind of issues often come up for artists. I usually simply work through such problems, but this is a little bit more serious in that I'm actually considering alternative inking approaches, which would be a big change for me!

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