Back with some #inktober posts about the tools I use to ink.
Here's a close-up of a recent page. My $5+ tier patrons have access to my private tumblr where I post all of the original inked pages. You can really see my progression over the past year! ^_^;
It's been a learning experience. I've never been too comfortable with my inking and usually rely on color to cover up my insecurities. I can't say it's gotten "easier," but I feel a little more at home with the tools I use.
While I'll be talking about paper types next week (because that's really a post of its own), today I'll talk more about the inks I've been using.
Ok. I've amassed a collection of inks over the past few years, because like pens - they're all slightly different. I'm only going to cover the ones I typically use from day to day and why I use them. If you want a more comprehensive look at ink types, JetPens has a -great- primer covering all the inks they carry in their shop.
The first thing you need to decide with inks is: What am I going to do with this ink?
Sounds simple, but as there are many varieties of inks, each with different properties, you need to plan ahead. There are super dark inks that are glossy, but not waterproof. There are waterproof inks that are not a dark black. There are inks that may be waterproof, but will not work with alcohol markers like Copics. Some dry fast, some dry slow.
I break my inks down into 2 main groups: Comics and Illustration.
The inks I use for comics just have to be black, not bleed on my paper, and dry relatively quickly.
For reference, this is ink I started with:
Deleter Black #1
It's an easy ink to use for both nibs and brush, so I highly recommend it for beginners. It can take a little while to fully dry, so don't rush when using it. It can also be used with alcohol markers, but not with water/paints. Just give it some time to fully dry, or you'll have smears when coloring.
I have 2 inks main inks I use for comics:
This ink is often used for Japanese ink paintings/calligraphy, so it can be used straight from the bottle or watered down. (Japan's version of India Ink.) There are two main brands: Kaimei and Kuretake. (Incidentally, Sakurazawa-sensei used this ink at her workshop demo. :D)
(I just picked this one up from our local Don Quijote to try out since I think I bought the Kaimei one in Japan. They come in a variety of bottle sizes!)
It has a strong herbal scent as it's made from wood ash. It should smell "medicinal" - if it smells like something rotten/rank, it's old and should be tossed.
I find the ink easy to use with both nibs & brush, and it's a nice deep, semi-glossy black. It's quite resistant to erasing as well. I personally don't recommend it for coloring over with paint or markers, though Jetpens suggests it's OK when the ink is applied with brush and left to dry. Dry times are much longer when you use nibs, so be careful.
Midway thru this story, I ran low on comic paper. So I figured I should try something different picked up some Copic Illustration Paper that was available at my local art shop. (More about this paper in next week's post.)
Long story short, as it's a different kind of paper, I found the bokujuu didn't work as nicely. The ink appeared thinner and lighter than I liked. So, I went thru my ink stash (see ink pile above) and found this one worked best:
This seems to be one of the inks most manga artists use. While I personally didn't like how it worked with nibs on my comic paper, It was fantastic on this new illustration paper! It's semi-glossy and lays dark on my paper, but for the amount you get, it's a little pricy. (Though the glass bottle is classy~!) Dry time is reasonable, but I can't say about lifting as I trace from my draft sheets on a lightbox.
As for illustration - these are the inks I use for commissions and at events for inking colored sketches when I need fast-drying, waterproof/marker-proof inks.
Please note, I use these for base ink drawings. I do not use them OVER my finished colors - I just stick to multiliners for that.
This was originally my go-to ink at events. It's not really -waterproof-, but I can use my markers over it. It's dark and glossy and dries relatively fast. I tend to use this ink for my sketchcards as it's also very resistant to lifting with erasers. It's a good quality india-style ink.
Since I was running low on this ink, I did a little research and picked up this ink next:
Now this ink has serious staying power. It's very dark, opaque, resistant to lifting, waterproof, and great with markers.
Downside - it takes a little longer to try and usually more expensive than most of the Deleter line.
Another major downside - this ink can be really thick and likely needs to be stirred/shaken well before use. I also need to clean my nibs with alcohol, so I do not recommend using this ink with brush.
I started bringing this bottle with me to events, but it's a bit of a hassle as I need to carry a bottle of alcohol with me. The ink will -stick- to the nib and can get gummy with build up. Cleaning the nib regularly is essential.
So there you have it -- my current line up of inks! While I have more pictured in my lineup at the top of the post, I've found I don't like them as much for various reasons - ranging from darkness, dryness, viscosity, or just being hard to work with.
I'm constantly testing out different inks, so if you have one you recommend, send it my way!
Next week, I'll talk a little bit about the various papers I use. :D
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