I was hoping to have a lot more stuff than this to post, but finding spare time (and energy) to work on my drawing hasn't been easy (I challenge any of you to be very productive after getting home from work, spending 5 hours dealing with a 2 year old and a 4 month old, and then finally getting everyone to bed around 10 PM :P).
Anyway, I'm going to post what I've done since my first thread (http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=28025&highlight=Highlander_77
, for anyone who didn't see it the first time around) that I think is worth showing (there's been a lot more than this...but most of it either sucks, or is very rough and preliminary...or just basically doodles)...and I'll keep this thread updated whenever I actually manage produce something worthwhile.
A rough sketch I did of one of my characters for one of my many comic book concepts.
An inked version of that sketch. This is the thing that I'm really hoping for some major critiques on. I know these inks aren't very good...they're pretty rough and messy. Any advice on what I need to work on to produce cleaner inks would be greatly appreciated.
Some face sketches. The one with the different heads in front view and in profile are again some characters designs I was working on, just drawn from my head. The second sketch with just the girl was done from a photographic reference. I mainly threw these in for shits & giggles, but if anyone actually has any critiques to offer on these, I'm more than happy to hear them.
In case anyone's curious, this was the photo I used for reference. I should probably mention that I wasn't really going for an exact reproduction of the photograph. Mainly, I just really liked her face, and I was trying to kind of "translate" it to more of a line-art, comic book style drawing.http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n148/Highlander_77/ab3-cropped.jpg
"Madre de Dios! Es el Pollo Diablo!"
As for your artwork, lookin' good old sport. Just keep drawing.
Your sketches look really nice, but I agree, the inking could use some work. You didn't tell us what you're inking with (or else I missed it), but I think a good first step could be just playing around with different inks. I prefer a Micron 01 for most of my inking, but occasionally I like to vary things up and use crappy ballpoints or brush pens or whatever. Different pens produce different kinds of lines and textures of ink, so depending on what you want/like, you'll prefer a different tool.
The second thing I'd recommend trying is making your sketches 'cleaner'. It sounds really obvious when I say it, but inking and penciling are different things. What looks good in pencil isn't necessarily going to look good in ink, and vice versa. To me it looks like you're putting a lot of work into your pencil drawings, making very nice pencil drawings, and then trying to ink right over your pencils. That's a waste. It's a waste of a perfectly nice pencil drawing, it's a waste of time, and it's a waste of good pencil lead.
If you're going to be filling an area in with ink (say, the underside of her hair,) then there's no reason to fill it with graphite. Just outline the area you want to be inked, and then when you ink it, fill it in.
Or to put it another way, when you pencil, do it with inking in mind. Draw your outlines, make them relatively neat and clean, ink them, and then you can worry about shading and shadows and whatnot.
Overall, I think you're doing well and with just some plain ol' practice will get better at the inking. Good luck.
Thanks for the feedback. I actually used a couple of Micron pens for those inks, a 08 (.5mm) and a 005 (.2mm). Initially I started with the 08, and decided pretty early on that the line it made was a little too thick for some of the finer parts of the drawing (facial details, etc), so I switch to the 005. I pretty much used the 005 for most of the main linework, then went back in with the 08 to thicken the lines at certain point and add shadows, etc. Oh, and I used a Sharpie marker to fill in the large black area in the hair...which wasn't the best choice in retrospect, since it's pretty obvious that that area was done with a different marker and type of ink from the rest of the drawing (mayne not so obvious in the resized scan I posted...but very obvious on the actual paper).
I actually didn't ink directly over the pencils...I threw the pencil sketch on my lightbox and did the inks on a seperate sheet of paper...so the pencil sketch survived. I actually find that I enjoy inking more if the pencil sketch is very rough and somewhat undefined. When the pencil lines are all neat and finished, I tend to feel like I'm just tracing rather than drawing, and that usually shows through in the result. From what research I've done, different artists apparently have all sorts of different comfort levels when it comes to just what they want put down in pencils before they start inking. Some basically make a finished drawing and then ink over it. Jim Lee, I found out, barely even puts any detail at all down on paper when he inks his own pencils. He pretty much lays out where things are going to be on the page, roughs in the basic outlines of most of the shapes, and then does most of the actual drawing with the inks (apparently a lot of comic book artists do this sort of thing when they ink their own work, as opposed to the more polished pencil drawings they do when they're handing it off to someone else to ink). I used to be scared of the idea of drawing with ink, because of the perceived "permanent-ness" of it...but now I think I'm beginning to understand why a lot of artists work that way.
As for the sketches, I'd just like to say that in the bottom sketch, the crease lines from the edge of the nose to the lips are too emphasized. I see that a whole lot when people are doing portraits from life or photos, and IMHO it gives it a really amateur, plastic look.
All in all, I think a little refinement with your inks will do you well, and practice in general will have you illustrating a comic book in no time. I'd love to see some colors soon.
"Scratchy" is a good way of describing those inks...that's pretty much how I felt about them too. I mean, I don't hate the way it came out, and it's a lot better than some of my earlier inking attempts (when I was essentially just tracing over lines, with no thought to line weight or anything), but it definitely still needs some work. One thing that I need to work on is just getting the lines smoother, without a lot of little stray marks going off the edges of the main line. Some professional artists do actually "feather" the lines (as opposed to drawing them in one smooth motion) like I do and still get good results, so that's probably just something that can be fixed through practice.