Well I didn’t finish my sketchbook by the end of the month–I’ve got about 5 pages to go–but I’ve got good reason. I was perusing Frank Cho’s FAQ the other day when I came upon a bit about what he uses for his inking. Mr. Cho has phenomenal line quality, so I was sure it must be a brush and ink, but lo and behold he uses Micron Pigma pens. I immediatelly ran out and bought the very pens he recommends and had to go back into my sketch book and try inking up some of my previous sketches.
So in honor of ink, here’s a little nursery rhyme from my childhood:
a bottle of ink
you open the cork
and you stink.
Godbless the kind soul who fashioned such noble verse.
All of the following sketches were done with a Tombow N25 brush marker. (with the exception of two sketches done with micron pens, can you find them?) It’s got a really big tip, that’s hard to do fine details with, and its tip wears out pretty quick so the tapered strokes don’t look very pretty. All in all I don’t recommend it, but it’s fun to sketch with.
I also am not crazy about the micron pigma brush markers. The tips also wear out really quickly and make the thin strokes ugly.
So far my favorite brush marker has been the faber castell pitt artist brush pen. Good tip size, it’ll give you good line quality until the ink runs out, and it’s great for quick sketching. Still not a brush, but fun in and of itself. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick up a new brush and brush marker sometime soon.
If you guessed these two drawings on the bottom, you’re right. You can do some nice detail stuff with the micron pigma’s, or some not so nice stuff as evidenced by this attempted inking on the left.
This bald guy above is probablly my best inked sketch here of the bunch here. Check out Katie Rice’s and Nick Cross’s 2 bits on what makes good inking, and compare it to what I’ve got here: Good stroke quality, thicks and thins in the right places, confidence in the stroke, and truthfulness to the original sketch (although you can’t see that.)
And now for some dogs, taken from Robyn Kesler’s sweet dog photos. All done with brush marker.
And now for the micron pens. I’m still getting the hang of these things, but I can see they have possibilities. I just have such unsteady hands.
As you can see, still some work to go. This guy below has some inconsistent line quality. I don’t like that the line is so thick on his forhead. I need some sort of correction device for such blunders. There are some other nice spots in this bit.
Another dog. There was nice sketch in green pencil that I wanted to include as well.
So, I’m going to keep playing around with the Micron pens. One side note: most of the pros suggest that you do your inking on britstol board. It’s muy smooth, so the pen tip doesn’t catch as you make your strokes, and wearing a cotton glove–with the thumb and forefinger cut out–will keep your hand from doing the same thing.
I just got some bristol board, so I’ll have to do some nice tight finished ink-em-ups and post them here.