Inking Part 3 - Making Marks
Making Marks is essentially what Inking is. You are marking the paper (or screen haha), no matter what media you are working in. There is energy in each stroke you make, and being able to understand that energy is what will make your lines breathe with life.
The above image is one where I used some different techniques…nib, brush, bamboo brush, and Hake brush. The Hake was how most of the energy was put into the piece but it is really about how everything works together.
Now how am I supposed to explain the process of actually making a mark? This is so hard for me, but I will try my best. It is all in practice, but I’m sure that goes without saying. Hopefully. :p
❀ Hake & Bamboo Texture
Some templates I use if I need the texture digitally. Everyone should have some sort of texture library of their own. It’s really easy to do and saves a bunch of time in the future!
I created a few brushes from the Sumi splatters, which you may or may not have noticed appearing everywhere in my work, usually for a quick background. :p Anyway it’s all about pressure and the amount of ink on the tools for this kind of work. When using Hake it should be dry and strong. Be confident, and it will transmit.
❀ Nib & Brush
I’m sure there are millions of inking tutorials that go into the mechanics of using these, but I’m trying to be somewhat different here. Practice, have a test paper next to you before you make a stroke on the piece, keep a light hand, and practice. Ink through your elbow and whole arm not just your fingers and wrist, use everything to achieve a smoother flow. Your hand should be moving and gliding along with your tool.
➛ Really the most important thing to keep in mind is that it’s all about understanding weight.
❀ Smooth Brush Line, Different Textures, One Subject
Blankets! I looove inking blankets. I have lots of ways I ink different types of blankets. Here are 4. Or 5? Bonus pillows. :p
Anyway the point of this is much of what I talked about in the last part: feeling what you are drawing. The difference a short dotted jagged line of a comforter makes when compared to the smoother elegant line of a sheet or the ruffle of a duvet. I hope this is a somewhat clear example of the kind of thing I’m talking about. :)
❀ To Be Literal or Figurative?
Inking isn’t tracing your sketch, but just how far can you take a simple brush stroke? Other than bedsheets, Plants are a favorite inking subject of mine, especially ferns. A stroke can say so much yet be so simple. Think of different ways you can convey an object. Experiment pushing the norms and discover your personal voice. Combine figurative and representational, hard and soft. The possibilities are endless, and hey, you might like the result. ;)
❀ An example of creating a unique texture:
For this panel I had to figure out…how am I going to make something look like a gross, yet tangible, unstable muddy mess? It is all in the subtle way you move your tool, I think. How is something portrayed as…squicky? What do you see when you picture what you want to convey? What do you feel? There are strong shadows and texture is there, but the lines are shaking and dotted. The brush marks were slowly built up where it gets dense, but further apart and unstable where the ‘mud’ is unstable. The technique here IS the thing.
❀ Putting It Together
From a life drawing session. I think this is the clearest example I have of using everything and where to use it and how they work with each other. A clean simple brush where the light is softest, and I used nib on her flesh because…well, look at her. She is hard yet fragile, smooth but strong, just like a nib. And bamboo for texture of the stand and to really feel the weight under her on the pillows, dragging and molding them.
➛ I can’t tell you what to do or if how I work is how you will work. It has to be a discovery you make yourself. Every scenario is different and will help you grow.
❀ I hope this part is helpful. It is hard for me to explain the ‘mechanics’ of something, as it’s…just a complete polar opposite of how I work. I simply never think about it, so it’s just difficult. I did my best and I hope the examples are at least useful in understanding how to do this a little bit?
➛ If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to Ask me! <3
Now enough of this Traditional talk, we all know everyone does things with help from digital means nowadays. The next part will begin to ease into it! :)