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Manga: Inking with a pen

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How do you produce a pro rendering, worthy of the great mangakas? Nothing can beat inking with a pen! Precision and agility are the key words for this technique and you can master it completely with a just little practice.

1. Drawing with a pen

You’ve drawn your characters and settings with a pencil: now you need to go over the contours with ink and add effects (speed or focus lines, grids, etc.) The advantage of pens: their narrow , precise and dynamic line… just what you need!

 Your pen stroke should be lively and dynamic: draw your motifs with lively, supple motions, without hesitating.

 Regular practice will build your self-confidence.

In practice: learning how to handle your pen

To get comfortable, practice!

Start by drawing lines without any particular goal so you can become familiar with how your pen feels on paper.

Draw narrow lines, then wider and wider ones, increasing the pressure, to see just how far you can to go without splashing or scratching your paper.

Draw straight and curved lines to loosen up your pen (and your hand).

Tracez des lignes droites et des courbes pour assouplir la plume (et votre main).

2. Erase your pencil lines

Once you have gone over all the contours with the pen, you need to erase the pencil lines, then add the details you missed with the pen. A delicate step that requires time and attention.

Make sure the ink is quite dry by laying a piece of paper towel or a blotter on the drawing: if the paper gets spotted, wait some more.

Use an easy to hold plastic eraser that erases well without applying pressure.

Brush all the eraser crumbs off the surface.

With pen (and ink…): add the missing details, and flesh out your characters and the setting.

3. Correct any errors

Even pros make errors while inking with a pen… what's important is remembering to erase them or cover them up.

For details and lines, use a white correction pen.

That little extra: start by pressing it on a sheet of scratch paper to clear out any plug and gauge how much pressure is needed.

To correct a substantial area (an ink blotch, for example), use white correction fluid with paint brush.

Too much white? Hold the blade of your utility knife horizontally and scratch the extra white until the area being corrected is unnoticeable.