Thursday, August 7, 2008

Much Ado About Inking...

For a long time, I've been trying to find the right pen for me to draw & ink my cartoons with. I've tried numerous markers, brushes & pens, but there always seems to be some sort of hitch.

Years ago, before I was too aware of the wide world of inking pens, I used a regular Sharpie marker. It made thick, dark & consistent lines, but not only did they dry out quickly & go through all my paper, the smell made me go cuckoo. Glad I gave those up.

Then, when I started at SVA, I started to explore & experiment with different pens. Don Duga, my drawing professor, recommended Rapidograph pens. I tried a few of his during class & I kinda liked the feel of them. I shelled out 75 bucks for a set of them. God, did I regret that...

Sure, the pens are ok, if you're an architect who only makes straight lines. I hold pencils & pens at a specific angle, but with the Rapido's, you gotta have them at the EXACT angle or the ink won't go. Also, I particularly prefer to to draw thick, smooth lines, which the Rapido's aren't the right choice for. & worst of all is the maintenance. I cleaned them, rinsed them, refilled them & tried to take really good care of them & I STILL ended up ruining them! 75 bucks out the window.

Currently, I use a Size 1 Pigma Graphic Pen & a Pigma Brush Pen. So far, these are my prime choice pens. The lines are consistent & dark... they move pretty smoothly across the paper... & the Size 1 is the perfect thickness for me. The Brush Pen is great 'cause I can go from really thin to really thick with my lines. Part 6 of my comic was all inked with a Brush pen.

They would be 100% perfect for me, except for one thing: THEY DRY WAY TOO QUICKLY!!! At the rate I draw daily, I average out at 1-1.5 pens a day. I try to use as much as them as I can, but by then the lines break up & become very rough. As for the Brushes (which dry equally as quick), I end up fraying the edges way to quickly. After they get frayed even the slightest, I can no longer go thinner than a Size 1, the lines become fuzzy edged & create double lines. I have to be extra careful with them, or they end up useless & in the trash. & the fact that they are $2-$3 a pop doesn't help much either.

*Can anyone recommend any pens that fit my inking style: thick, smooth & consistent lines? I've heard a lot of good things about the Kuretake Brush Pens, but can anybody give me any first-hand experience with them? Are they durable? Are they easy to fray? Do you have to take as much care for them as a Rapidograph?

Also, can anybody give me any good tips about inking? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


AJ said...

have you ever tried working with the classic ink and nib? depending on the nibs you buy, you can get all of the lines that you want and more. they are also quite easy to clean, and ink containers last quite a long time.

good for doodling, i guess. dabbling between that and the microns you have should work well and save you money.

Anonymous said...

to be honest I just use a REGULAR ball point pen. It works fine for me.