SO! A user, fellow artist, and friend by the name of gweakles mentioned today that she wanted an inking tutorial out of me (and subsequently made me art-blush)! Given that I’m still in the beginning stages of learning to ink, I figured a good way to start would be sharing the tools that I’ve been working with.
Of course, different brands and tools work for different people in different ways. So what I use will be completely different from what might work for you. I’m just sharing what does it for me, ink-wise!
Daler Rowney Pro Black - for those black than black areas that you just need to be really really black.
Speedball Super Black India Ink - After not enjoying Higgins Black Magic, I’ve moved on to this guy as my all-around inky-ink, and it’s been nice. Very nice, thicker than Higgins, and pretty darn velvety.
Pebeo Drawing Gum - really liquidy and dries to a light blue color, I love using the dip pen/nib to apply it, and it washes off well with water afterwards. Good for masking out areas that you want to stay white, of course!
Jar of water
Scrap piece of whatever - right now it’s just a sample of Ampersand Claybord that I got from work. I like using it to do practice runs with the dip pen and test out watered-down ink before applying it to the paper.
Old credit card - this is a great tool for doing controlled splatters with ink/masking fluid and the dip pen. Make sure to use a nib you don’t care about, cause this thing will kill it. Just snap the nib against the edge of the card and voila, you have some neat-looking spray effects.
Jar top - the black one at the bottom, I just use it to mix watered down ink for washes.
Dip pen and nib - Just some crappy old thing I found in a drawer. I use it, along with the brush, to do the majority of my inking. If I need an even, straight line, I go for this one.
Rafael Kolinsky Sable Series 8408, No. 2 - OKAY. THIS BRUSH. THIS. BRUSH. Was worth every penny that I forked over for it. The 8408 series has a super fine tip on the sable hair, and the whole thing holds a ridiculous amount of ink. That means you can go from a super thick line, to a hairline in the same stroke. I cannot begin to explain how excited I am about this brush. Maybe I’ll write a whole post about it later. It’s so so nice for curves, effects, and just general flowy inking.
Paper towel and cardboard - paper towel is for getting rid of excess ink on the brush, and the cardboard for protecting my white desk!
Strathmore Bristol Smooth (not pictured) - smooth bristol is ah-mazing for inking, and the Strathmore just kinda does it for me. More on that later.
Spotify (not pictured) - I don’t know about you, but Thee Oh Sees really gets me in an inking mood. Try ‘em out sometime! ;)
That’s about it! I’ve never really written one of these before. Never really felt worthy enough. So I hope you enjoyed it. Maybe there was something buried in there that’s a little bit new to one of you. If so, I’m glad. Learning is just so much fun, guys.