Inking Made EasyHere, in my semi-humble opinion, is what makes good comic book inking, in five not-so-easy steps:
- Draw, don't trace. You don't have to be Frazetta, but you have to know what the forms are and how to contribute to them. Always.
- Make confident lines. We don't want to see you tentatively feeling your way around. Make every line like you know it's the right line.
- Vary line weights. If all your line weights are the same the work will be flat. Fat, bold lines next to razor thin lines makes stuff POP.
- Texture. Develop & consistently apply visual shorthand for textures. Complex or simple, they must be convincing. Wood, steel, cloth, etc.
- Saved the most important for last. Help tell the story! Spot blacks. Separate visual planes. Keep things clear. Story > pretty lines.
I think DC Comics may want him around for a while yet.
Good points, all, I think as I feel my way tentatively through the shape of an ocelot. What is "visual shorthand" for ocelot fur?
As Ande later clarifies, none of this is easy. I think I struggle especially with #3, varying light weights. And visual shorthand for the world's textures . . . That sounds like years of craft. It's clear that this advice nods to a grand tradition of comic book inking, but there's something here for everyone, something most illustrators have thought many times but perhaps never spelled out. That's why he's a writer, too.
Another inaccuracy: of course, we do, we do need to be Frazetta. That's why we're reading blogs about drawing. But we can be patient.