The Guide to Get Going with Inking - Kim W.-style! PART 1
My best friend growing up was Magnus, we used to spend all our days in his attic listening to Queen or Simon & Garfunkel and drawing. That's where I got good at it and fell in love with the arts, the lowbrow arts that is. Magnus became a fantastic animator and works in movies and video games, like Hellboy and The Division.

He texted me yesterday and said he wanted to get into inking and I was more than happy to give him some advice. After all the messages I thought, this might be interesting for more people! So I compiled it and here it is: The Guide to Get Going with Inking - Kim W.-style!

There are basically two different main tools for inking, a brush and a dip pen. The dip pen just never fit into my hand but I fell in love with the brush right away, so my choice was easy. These two tools let you make a "dynamic line", a line that gets wider och narrower depending on the pressure you put on it. If you don't want a dynamic line you can use a felt marker and also stop reading this now. A dynamic line gives you endless possibilities in inking, but more on that in future posts. This post is about getting you started! Here's a good video that shows a brush in action.

There are also digital tools that mimic the brush and dip pen, but if you're just starting out I would advice you to learn it for real. Then move over to digital if you must, but as the digital is a imitation of the real tools you can transfer your knowledge to the computer. Not really the other way around.

The brush is a aquarelle/watercolor-brush with a fine point. The original is Windsor & Newton Series 7, but they're expensive and you can find copies in a lot of other brands. They can be just as good (almost), just make sure they can keep a point. Some people don't want to buy sable brushes because they're made from animal hair, then you can get a nylon one.

If you're loving it and wanna get into inking for real I suggest you buy an expensive brush, they're so much better and if you treat them right they will last for several years of daily use. So not that expensive in the end. If you take care of them and wash them after every use.

The size of the brush matters in several different ways. A big one, like a size 4, holds much more ink and if it's a good one you can still get the super fine line and every line width up to around 10mm. It is a bit harder to control than a smaller brush, but if you're just getting into inking I suggest you learn with a size 4. That's what my mentor, Peter Snejbjerg, told me years ago and I very happy about that. If you learn how to use a size 4 you can do pretty much everything, if you learn with a smaller brush you'll have to complete with other tools.

This is the perfect time for me to do this guide as I'm myself getting back to inking for real, after a few years in the digital domain. So I'll teach you and remind myself. Let's have this post as a part 1, and I'll be back soon with part 2. I'll get into paper, exercises and stuff.

I might even make a little book about this! That would be fun! With some accompanying videos. When I do, it'll be free for Patreons!

Kim W.

PS: The video above is of my inking a page from Johnossi Comics, you'll find it in The Complete Love Hurts and Love Hurts Deluxe . I made the cover and art work for the album Mavericks by Johnossi, it went so well we did a comic book called Johnossi Comics with comics inspired by the music.