Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Phantom Lady - commission process 4

Today it was all about the inks. I usually use a brush to ink my comic work. Anyone who has seen me at a convention has probably seen me inking sketches with a brush. Every so often I get frustrated with the poor quality of brushes being made today and I use Micron Pens, but I love the look of brush work so much more. Below is a picture of my set up today.
The line art has been transfered to the final board, a 15" x 20" sheet of Cresent Hot Press Watercolor board. Sturdy enough to take a lot of water without bending and bowing. I have my blue tupperware cup of clean water for my brushes and my upside down sake cup for my ink well. The main brush I will use here is a Windsor & Newton #2 Sable Series 7. This is the last of my W&N brushes. And this one is holding up well. But I will not be going back to them again. Most of the brushes in the last batch I bought were terrible. And not cheap. I have been trying a lot of cheap brushes lately, some with good spring but not exactly what I want. I did just found out about a place in the UK that is a small shop that still makes Kolinsky Sable brushes by hand at a great price and great guarantee so I will be ordering some of those this week. 
I decided to have a few pictures taken so show the inking in progress. I will use the brush as much as I can on the "organic" items in the image. Inorganic things like the paddy wagon will be done with a pen. 
Here I am inking Phantom Lady's "Bettie Page" bangs by dragging the brush down, putting more pressure on the brush as I do. I end up with a series of thin to thick lines that give that illusion of light bouncing off the highest point of her bangs. Cheap brushes don't give you this kind of control. To produce razor sharp points, then thick, then sharp and thin again in one stroke calls for a quality brush. Luckily this W&N is behaving as it should. 
Here I have moved on to the bad guy and the cops. I am following my pencil lines but not really tracing them, and I am adjusting the line art as I go. The pencils are a guide for the inks to embellish.

More tomorrow.


LUD! said...

I wish I had the patience to use brushes, but alas, I use Micro pens and brush pens for heavy lines.

I'm not cut out for a #7 brush...


Gary M. Peiffer said...


You make this look so easy, but whenever I try something like this, I end up with blotchy running spots. Great explanation of the brush characteristics that you look for, especially the "spring" description.

What is in the Panda bear cup? Is that coffee or ink?

Looking forward to tomorrow's post!


Brian Jones said...

Great series of pics...I've seen you inking a piece or two at shows and it amazes me how effort less you make it look.

Royce Thrower said...

Great post today Gene. I like the detailed description/tutorial of the ins and outs of inking with a brush. It may be a lost "art" but there is no substitute for the results. Looking great so far. Looking forward to seeing tomorrow's update!!

On an unrelated note, saw Gran Torino tonight with a few guys and a "chick-flic" it "ain't." Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Gene Gonzales said...

Thanks Lud. I started inking with a brush about 20 years ago and still feel like I haven't got it down yet so I know how you feel. It's really a matter of doing it day in and day out but you are probably like me in that I don't do that much comic work.

Thanks Gary. And that was coffee in the panda cup. And it was a "manly" panda cup I might add. ;)

Thanks Brian!

Thanks Royce. And thanks for the Gran Torino recommendation. It's on my list of must see movies. Though I don't get to the movie theater often enough.

Brian Jones said...

I too saw Gran Torino and you should see it for Clint's acting preformance! OUTSTANDING

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