26/365 - Draftsmanship

Photo 26 of my 365 project used my cartoons as the subject.   I have been dedicating quite some time to my photography challenge and haven’t missed a day yet – it is much less time consuming than drawing but it gives me the same creative gratification.

Michelle at The Green Study pointed out that I haven’t really shared my ‘process’ before, and someone else commented that they thought I drew everything directly into the computer.   In a previous post I briefly mentioned how I do things while I waxed lyrical about creating smooth lines in Illustrator but I’m happy to share a bit more.

My process is simple.  I sketch in pencil, biro or whatever writing implement I can get my hands on.  It’s usually a really rough sketch to get the positions/expressions right. I then trace over the originals on a fresh sheet of paper using black Indian ink and a fountain pen, or a simple black liner if I’m feeling lazy. I have a lightbox to make tracing easier.  I continue to redraw, tweak and redraw until I am mostly happy with the final image.  Sometimes if I’m feeling particularly self critical, this part can take an age.

Finally, I scan the line drawings into Photoshop and do a bit of touching up. For example I  might remove blemishes, erroneous lines or fill in some detail I think would add to it.  Then I colour and add texture.  Ta Da!   Of course there are all sorts of variations depending on my mood, but this is my preferred approach.


4 thoughts on “Inking

  1. Hello fellow Artist!

    Love your blog. Quick question:

    I have recently started drifting doing complete digital works to dappling with ink pens and calligraphy markers. I recently thought about investing in good old fashioned calligraphy pens and india ink, but I wonder is there a noticeable difference when using that choice of tools in your cartoonings and illustrations verses regular pens? Any incite would be great.


    • Thanks for your kind comment! I use a range of pens. I love the flow of the Indian ink but find it a little less controllable than your standard pen and quite often find myself smudging my work or dropping big splotches on my paper. It all adds to the effect. It is also provides much blacker lines which I love. I have quite a heavy hand so using a calligraphy nib means I have to adjust my pressure and sometimes that makes it more difficult to control the lines (for me anyway).

      • Thanks for your incite! I think I might slow my roll with the India ink, I smudge all the time and that’s just with standard pens ^^. I can only imagine the mess I would create with a whole jar of it. Thank you for your kind words about my work too.

        I really look forward to what u create and post on your blog!

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