Sunday, April 25, 2010
Amazing Spider-Man #577, Page 9 (panel 4). 2008. Ink on Marvel Board, 11 x 17.25".
When I first started inking, I quickly realized that I didn't like my lines to have a slick, crisp appearance. I preferred, instead, a grittier line that softened forms by revealing the texture of the vellum surface. Traditionally, this technique is called dry brush, but when I go for this look, the brush isn't actually all that dry; rather, it's the ink.
Before I begin, I first set out a small amount of Pelikan Drawing Ink A in a sealable container, albeit with the lid open. Depending on the amount of time I have and the effect I want, I'll let the ink "set" to the desired consistency. A nice consequence of this is the increased covering power of the ink, which yields a richer, darker black as compared to its performance straight out of the bottle. As the shallow pool gets used up, I add small amounts of fresh ink, mixing it with the thicker ink in order to maintain the consistency.
In general, I thoroughly soak my brush (a Winsor and Newton Series 7 #6) in water, then squeeze out any excess before dipping the tip (and just the tip) into ink. This process is all all about experimentation, so everyone will have a different preference in terms of ink consistency and brush saturation.
A special thanks goes out to Cliff Chiang, who first introduced me to my favorite ink.