Choose The Right Inking Style


Some say there are only seven different stories in the world. That may be true. But there are a million different ways to tell your story!

In comics, probably the most important part of the storytelling, is the style you choose in the drawing. A lot of black on the page tends to attract an older audience, while a slick, curved line art and big eyes on the characters will give off a more Manga-like feel. There is a huge difference between a character sketched rendered in scratchy-scratchy detail like a Burns or a Crumb and a drawing inked in flat blacks like a Mignola or a Miller.

First off you have to decide what the genre of the story is. Maybe your style itself fits a certain genre, maybe you are able to change up your style to fit the genre. Whatever the case,you need to make a conscious decision.

My advice would be to look at other comics in the genre and see how they do it. The danger is that you may get too influenced by a certain style or artist, so having more than one reference is always a good idea!

Most artist have what I would call “riffs”. A certain way of drawing something, usually a short cut of sorts. You pick up riffs along the way, but you also invent your own. Your hand will do most of the hard work, but you can also conciously decide to use a certain inking style on a project.

The most important thing about style and tone, is consistency. A set of dogma rules for yourself before you start drawing a particular story can be a good idea. Choose the tools and riffs you will use and stick to that. Do short stories and try out different techniques, see what works for you. And what it does for the story! You can do it in a million different ways – the key to succesful storytelling is to pick a way and stick to your decision.

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