What types of tools do artists use for inking?

One way of creating a work of art is to use a strong line to help define the elements of the picture. Many artists do this is by using ink to outline and define the various elements. Inking is a huge subject and many full-length books are available on it. In  my work I have two approaches to inking; the first is inking with actual ink, and the second is digital inking. In this post I will talk about inking with real ink.

Take a look at this picture. It was done using the Pentel Pocket brush Pen.

If you look at the lines you can see that  they vary in thickness or weight. The variation gives the lines character and helps add depth to the picture. What’s the secret? Good tools.

These tools cover the basic options for inking manually.

1) The pencil on top is a light blue prismacolor col-erase pencil. These pencils are great for sketching before you ink. The blue doesn’t confuse you and it can be erased manually or digitally.

2) Grumbacher Goldenedge number 8: This is a really big brush for inking but it has a nice point and is good for large pictures. Most artists don’t use this size.

3) Winsdsor and Newton Series 7 #2: The king of all brushes. These brushes are made with hair known as Kolinsky brushes. They are very expensive.

4) Faber -Castle PITT pen brush tip: Many artists find this easier to use than a brush, but  find that the tips damage easily.

5) Prismacolor micron marker #5: Great for beginners, this marker is easy to handle. If you use size #8 you can get some line variation.

6)Pentel pocket pen: Just like a brush, but portable and easier to handle.

*Not pictured above are dip pens, another popular tool for inking. The picture below was done with a dip pen:

(The ink is Higgins Black Magic India ink- the brush cleaner is available on-line. It’s amazing stuff).

I use Bristol paper.

Bottom Line : For beginners I would recommend using the col- erase pencil on Bristol paper for the sketch and then inking in micron markers using #3 , #5, and #8. There are many brands; I like the prismacolor available at Michael’s. Use heavy lines for foreground and lighter lines for background to get some depth. More on technique in the next post.

This entry was posted in Artwork, Cartoon and Character Design, Equipment and supplies, Inking, Scenery, Technique. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What types of tools do artists use for inking?

  1. Mindy says:

    Wow! this is a great blog. Thank you for your time and effort.
    Will you be covering perspective techniques at any point?

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