Inking Part 1 - Know Your Materials
You can ink with anything from a brush and nib to a toothbrush, and this is an overview of some interesting tools you can do to create different textures, however part 3 will go into more specific mark making.
Here’s a pic of some of my favorite tools:
Suzuri Grinding stone and Ink Block:
I’m not about to go into an explanation about making your own ink and japanese calligraphy. However I do strongly advise learning about it, as I don’t know where I’d be without knowing how to do it. Inking in general is more about meditation more than anything.
Japanese Brushes: (left to right): yoju hake, bamboo hake, gyokuran sumi brush, sansui koraku sumi brush
These can create some really amazing textures, I’ve created some of my favorite photoshop brushes from using these. (I’ll give them to you in part 5)
I am in LOVE with the Hake brush. It’s nothing short of amazing, but I know they can be hard to find in regular art stores so you might have to look online. I’ll go into detail later, but it creates very bold dry brush effects.
Bamboo Nib, Bamboo Brush:
Honestly I own a ton of these, but they’re very hard to use and dry easily. As much as I advocate using traditional materials, I wouldn’t recommend them. Same thing goes for bamboo brushes, they’re really good for texture but not precision.
Again there are many resources talking about nibs, here’s a good one I found. I don’t use nibs too often anymore, but back in middle school up to sophmore year they were all I used. Good for technical and precision, hard. I have a soft spot for them sometimes.
Pentel Brush Pen
Good for inking sketches, I learned how to use brush on this pen. Well technically not this exact one, I have the original Japanese brush this is knocked off from. Supposedly the Pentel brand is just as good. You can get it here on Amazon.
Kuretake Sumi Brush Pen
Personally I haven’t used this, but oh do I covet it. This brush is strongly recommended by many awesome artists for inking sketch works. A bit pricey, but I hear it’s worth it. You can get it here from Amazon.
There is also a glorious Kolinsky Sable brush pen but that thing is like 80 dollars or something, so yeah. It’s mighty perdy though. haha!
THE HOLY GRAIL
Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable Brush
This is my baby, and they are completely worth the money. If you are new to brush I recommend starting with a cheaper synthetic or a brush pen, getting used to it and all that. However this…these guys are simply the best. I use a #2 for my comics, but for oil painting and watercolor I use a #4. They say you shouldn’t use them for oil painting, but Donato recommends them too! haha they’re priced high for a reason but completely worth it.
These babies are actually on sale for an insane discount right now at ASW, check it out! :) Online ordering is not preferred as you should always inspect a brush’s tip before buying it, especially if they cost so much, but I have found ASW to be a good resource for the most part.
I don’t use pens too often, really only if I’m ruling something or doing technical backgrounds, but when I do I love Copic Multiliners. They’re like Microns, but are a bit smoother and have a darker ink. Somewhat more pricey, but with them I think it’s worth it. I have nothing against using Microns though.
I could separate types of Ink into another part and talk about them for forever. I will sum it up by saying that I use Sumi Ink simply because I like the feel of it with my brush. It is NOT waterproof, but I have used it with watercolor pieces and it was fine. It also washes off easily so if you’re messy that’s always nice haha. Do not buy the large bottles, by the smaller ones because this ink dries fast and can congeal if it gets old. There are millions of different kinds of ink though…too much to say, I’m sorry!
Art Supply Warehouse: ASW is one of my favorite online stores to shop if you don’t have access to a store by you that may have these things. :)
I could go on forever, but I’m stopping here. XD