Saturday, March 29, 2014

Inking rant by Jim Shooter

The Inking Rant

Key points:

1) Control of the tools, that is, being able to make the pen or brush make exactly the mark on the paper that you want it to every time—nothing accidental.

2) Mastering technique. You need to know what to do with the tools to make hair look like hair, glass look like glass, sand look like sand, etc. If you tried to develop your own techniques for every occasion, it would take you decades. Better to learn from your favorite inkers.

3) Creating the illusion of depth. Depth is the key to clarity. Inkers control black, white and gray, that is, the extremes of VALUE, lightness and darkness, and to some extent, gray, the middle ground. Value—lightness and darkness—is THE most effective tool for creating the illusion of depth.

Pencilers and inkers—use a ruler. Use templates. Never freehand any man-made or machined object. Do not cheat. Do not fake it. Get it right. Yes, it will take much more time—for a while—until you polish up the skills. But, better one good page than ten bad ones.

Shooter's idea of what spotting blacks means seems to be different from what I see elsewhere, which is just to place some solid blacks in the drawing to give it solidity. He seems to think it means randomly placing blacks. I never thought it was meant to be random, but in service to a plan like creating depth or clarity. 

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