Inking Round-up May 2023
Practice, practice, practice
How do you become a better artist...? Lots and lots of practice. I do a lot of copying of pen & ink pulp artwork, line by line, in order to get the feeling of the ink marks into my muscle memory. And it does work, over the past ten years I’ve seen a great deal of improvement to my inking. Here is a short video showing my inking practice pieces from May of 2023. [https://www.bitchute.com/video/YEKSIEHxogIU/]
Thanks for reading The Rocketeer! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
A few notes about the pens and brushes I use. My (Pilot) Namiki Falcon fountain pen creates a lovely line. The nib is consistent and is a true joy to draw with. My pen has an SF 24K gold nib which creates a fine (narrow) width line, as fine or finer than anything else I have to draw with. The pen’s balance is wonderful and it’s light, even when posted, which means less hand fatigue while drawing. It’s also creates approximately the same line width as a crow quill nib which was often used in inking back in the day. So I can get the correct line widths without the fuss of a dip pen and a scratchy crow quill.
I recently purchased both the Kuretake No. 85 (synthetic bristles) Fountain Brush Pen and the Kuretake No. 50 (sable bristles) Fountain Brush Pen. Both are excellent for inking but the No. 50 is superb. I’ve gotten Platinum ink converters for both of these brush pens so that when the ink cartridges run out I can easily use fountain pen ink.
I also use other Japanese brush pens with shorter and stiffer bristles. These are mainly used for details requiring small, stiff brush marks or long lines made against a straight edge. The Pitt Artist Pens are my go-to for filling in large areas, and the Big Brush works very well for covering sizeable areas of black.
I have an abundance of Sakura Microns in all the sizes, mostly in black ink. The Microns are great for drawing and I use them all the time. As the line width is consistent and not variable, the line marks are unexpressive. Right now, I’m practicing adding expression to my line marks.
All of this practice is doing wonders for my illustration work. I can already notice the difference in how I’m handling my pens and bushes. And you will see it too when I release my next illustrated pulp story.
This is the Rocketeer signing off for today.