Inking comic Books Digitally
One of the biggest barriers for digital artists is creating that authentic “india ink” feel on the digital page.
Inking in DGW's: Finding the Best way for you
Inking in Photoshop, Clip Studio Paint, Corel Draw, or even Illustrator is about mastering the tools at hand while remembering not to take semantic names for brushes and tools literally.
The point of inking in comic books is to achieve that “machined” look for easy to read lines on the printed page. Ironically, the point of inking digitally in your DGW is also to emulate that “organic” look that still comes through on the comics page.
For professional digital inkers, the quest is always to search for better and better tools while mastering their favorites, all in a lifelong effort to create authentic digital art that rivals what can be done by a master with a pencil or brush.
To achieve this, the tools at your disposal are layers and opacity, and opacity types, and variable brush settings, and more layers, and more opacity, and more opacity types and more variable brush settings. But not too many, but not “just enough” either. Does it start to seem like a finicky balancing act that we also have to strive to make sure doesn’t come off seeming “over-rendered”? That’s exactly what the digital inking process is.
Unlike traditional media comics, creating comics with digital tools often involves a little bit of straying out of strict job roles for different people working on a page. Maybe one person does lettering , one person does penciling, and one person does inking, and one person does coloring. In practice, either of these people might end up doing parts of either job.
At the same time if you’re a solo creator, it’s probably most ideal to develop a process that blends all of the stages together. For example maybe the pencils will be strictly a layout process, and maybe the inks go just far enough to retain the “india ink” feel, maybe the inks are finalized during the lettering process, and maybe the inks are finished even more during the coloring process.
Think about it, as a solo creator you’re going to want to avoid repeating the same work as much as possible. Digital illustration is about finding your own process, and you’re probably going to find that you want to only do truly final work once, at the end of a page, while completing it. This makes the most of your time and frees you up to create as many pages as possible, as quickly as you can.