Back to the lightbox! I ink the comic using a combination of (faux) sable brushes, crow-quill and writing pens, and occasionally the microns that I letter with. I find that changing the tools for different sorts of details keeps the drawings readable in black and white and lends a certain solidity that I lack when I just use one tool for the whole drawing. I fill in the beta areas as I go. I’ve been working on an uncoated board that is pretty absorbent, which limits the number of times I smear still-wet ink with my hand as I’m drawing. I’m experimenting with different boards right now, so that might change soon. Inking over a drawing is an art form in and of itself, and it’s amazing to me how much character a drawing gains (or on bad days, loses) when it’s translated from simple pencil to expressive brush and pen. When that’s done, I make any necessary touch-ups using white gouache or white tape.
Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope you spent the requisite currency to sufficiently prove your affection towards your loved one/significant other. All cynicism aside, it may be a crass and commercial excuse for a holiday, but it never hurts to show him or her you love them (I guess it can hurt if someone’s got serious issues, in which case, they should be looking for a good therapist).
Okay, cynic shields back up! Blah blah, monetize everything blah blah blah price on emotions blah. So there.
PANEL BORDERS AND LETTERS
On my lightbox, with a new board, I trace the panel borders and lightly mark the spaces I’ve left for dialog in pencil. I have to be careful to make clear the spots where artwork breaks the borders or the bubbles so I don’t have to make corrections later. Then I rule the lines for the letters using my trusty Ames Lettering Guide. I pencil in the letters, then ink them with a couple different Micron pens (sort of a disposable technical pen). Then I draw the balloons, and ink the panels. When that’s done I erase all my pencil lines on the sheet. This now, is my favorite part of making the comic. Sharply ruled panels, dialog balloons and text stark black against my white board– I just think this looks so cool! Much better than after I dirty it up with a lot of silly drawings.