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When we last left Page 29 of Isle of Elsi, I had just penciled the page. This week we will take a look at my inking process.
The best way to do this is to watch the time lapse video that I created just for you, my super-supportive patrons! It should be attached to this post. In that 1:38 video you are seeing about 4 hours of inking (look for a quick appearance by my daughter, Suzanne!). All of the tools I use for inking are shown below:
I start by inking all of the "mechanical" aspects of the page - panel borders, speech balloons, etc. - with fixed-width inking tools. This keeps them very consistent from page to page.
First I use a Speedball B5 nib to ink all the panel borders. I then use a 513-EF mapping nib to do all the lettering, with a Speedball B6 nib used for bold lettering and a B5 for really bold lettering, of which this page has a bit. Then I use the B6 nib to ink all of my speech balloons and caption borders.
For the inking of the actual drawings I use variable-width nibs that can go from thick to thin. This variance gives the drawings a nice weight and lets me create a sense of depth by giving foreground elements thicker lines while backgrounds have thinner lines.
I use a new Nikko brand G-Nib for about 95% of the drawings. Over time, the nib loses its precision and can't quite get those tiny lines. I keep one of these old, blasted-out G-Nib waiting in the wings for close-ups and large objects that need really heavy lines. I also have a Hunt 102 nib for super tiny details such as far away establishing shots.
I use Speedball Super Black India ink with all of these tools. These days I am not using any white-out, but instead make little marks on the page, alerting me to the occasional inking mistake, which I then clean up after the page has been scanned. For instance, Sally's right pinky in the last panel on this page (shown below).
Here is the page after it has been inked, but before it has been cleaned up (ie. the pencils have not been erased and it has not been scanned and cleaned up in the computer).
In the next process post I will color this page!