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Inks on Jim Lee´s Superman

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  • Inks on Jim Lee´s Superman

    All comments are welcome. Thanks!

  • #2
    Massively over-rendered. You've shown us a lot of inking, and it's all been slavish line tracing. Let's see some of your own techniques and style.
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    • #3
      Would love to see it higher res. Think I prefer it to the original inks. The only bit I'm not crazy about is the upper portion of the inside cape, but that must have been difficult trying to keep all the lines parallel. Also the rubble. I think the original inks has you beat in how that was handled. But other than that, nice.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by D.C. View Post
        Would love to see it higher res.
        This. Help us help you by actually giving us a large enough image to do so.

        The original inks have you beat all around, to be honest. But it would be nice to see the finer details in what you did do.
        Money can't buy you happiness, but it will pay for the search.


        • #5
          I definitely applaud your efforts on this piece, Martinho. It takes a lot of moxie to attempt to ink Jim Lee's pencils (at least IMHO), so kudos on taking the plunge.

          Unfortunately, I have to agree with my peers on the overall outcome of this piece. You have definitely slaved your inks to Mr. Lee's pencils, but sometimes that does not always produce the best finished piece (a reason why some pencillers are better off with someone else inking their stuff). Jim Lee is one of those folks who just LOVES putting in lines and doesn't quite know when to say "when." That's where a talented inker comes in; they pick out the lines that are going to do the best job of emphasizing and accentuating the penciller's art as opposed to basically just tracing their pencils line-for-line or, god forbid, overly simplifying the piece until it's barely recognizable as the artist who pencilled the piece.

          (A little aside here; I think Scott (don't know where I got Keith from?) Williams is likely Lee's BEST overall inker because he seems to know how to corral Jim's artwork into a cohesive rendering, keeping the best of it and losing the rest. I think Oclair Albert, who inks a lot of Ivan Reis' work, would likely do a good job, as well. I would've loved to have seen Dick Giordano ink Lee because Giordano was a master of getting inks just right (again, IMHO).

          In examining your inks, you did a really great job inking Supe's face, hair and fists as well as the vegetation. Where you've taken to heart Lee's pencils are on Superman's outfit and cape. There are just waaaaaay too many lines going on there!! Yeah, most of them ARE on Lee's pencils, but that's where your judgement as an inker has to sort of override the ego (and hand) of the penciller in order to make the artwork look clean and crisp once it's reduced down to comic-book size. "Economy of lines" is probably the best thing to keep in mind when tackling some ilke Lee's pencils because, as the penciller, he's probably not thinking about the fact that this artwork is going to be reduced (although one hopes it's in the back of his mind) and therefore, just adds layer after layer of detail lines.

          The style of inking you've used on the piece is only compounding the problem, too. Lee's artwork, like so many other pencillers out there, cries out for cross-hatching and solids to make it pop, but you've just done a lot of straight, parallel lines, which makes the finished costume look kinda dirty (I only say that because the great Charles Schulz always used to use parallel lines to convey dirt on his characters). You've gotta remember what Lee may've forgotten and that Superman is now wearing armor (although why a Man of Steel needs armour still escapes me), so you need to ink it AS armor; clean, smooth and reflective. And Superman's cape should have as little inking done to it as possible. Think of it as a beautiful, young woman; the more lines you put on it, the older it's going to look.

          Wow---I just realized I've been typing for like ten solid minutes! I guess I'll get off my soapbox and get back to working! LOL!

          Again, kudos for have the cajones to tackle Lee's stuff. Keep practicing and you'll get it----just right!
          Last edited by jeffchris50; 06-10-2014, 08:25 AM.


          • #6
            Wow Jeff, thank you so much. Yeah, the more they are difficult to ink the more I like them. You know what? I'm going to ink this piece, following your advices. Thank you Jeff, and thank you to all the comments.


            • #7
              looking forward to seeing the revised version.
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              • #8
                Like sirandal, I am looking forward to the revised version, Martinho. I have a feeling it'll be great!


                • #9
                  I think you've done the face well - its not how I envision Scott Williams would do it and that's alright - you should have your own inking style anyway.

                  I do agree - the entire suit is over rendered and the lines make it look very messy.
                  Keep in mind, Jim Lee draws with a 0.4mm Pencil. That makes it easy for him to lay down a lot of additional lines.

                  Your line weights on the rendering are fairly slim and lack variation. So it just looks messy as oppossed to rendering lighting or texture.

                  Personally, I'm not sure why shoulder musculature appears to be rendered if its armour. I think that's weird to begin with.
                  dA | PJ Sketchblog

                  I want to be the man who can draw so many things, so well and in so many different ways.


                  • #10
                    How many of us saw Bernie Wrightson's Frankenstein and thought: uggh, too many lines? Remember the idiot king telling Mozart in Amadeus that he'd used too many notes? Oh what a laugh we had over that one.

                    Line count isn't the problem. The problems are a lack of variation in line widths and a slavishness to original rendering. The original artist gets to call the surface flesh, wool or steel but, that's it. How it's rendered is none of his damn business. He surrendered that right when he abandoned the work. You can't dump a child alone and unprotected in the middle of freeway traffic and complain when someone comes by and saves it.

                    An inker must learn to interpret and ignore. Look at Kal's right hand. It's shading is off by 180º or exactly the opposite of how it should be. The shadow does NOT go on the side facing the light, it goes on the backside away from the light.

                    My mother used to get tongue tied when flustered. She had a plague on the fridge she'd point to when it happened. "I know you think you understand what you thought I said but, I'm not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant." Forget what the artist said, draw what he meant. And draw it in your own style.


                    • #11
                      In you work there's a huge lack of line weight. You can go over every line but every line seems to be the exact same size. Line weight will bump you up 100 percent. There's also no original flair. We aren't seeing you. We're seeing some artists work with black over it. There's no iconic feel brought thru to your work. Line weight could help you find your inner inker.
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                      • #12
                        What tools do you use, Martinho?


                        • #13
                          Hi Helob. I use a brush (davinci #0 and some micro pens. Davinci is the best I can find here).


                          • #14
                            Thanks. Have you tried any other brush sizes?


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Martinho Abreu View Post
                              Hi Helob. I use a brush (davinci #0 and some micro pens. Davinci is the best I can find here).
                              Here's a tip for you: The bigger the brush, the finer the line. The point of a #000 is identical to a #12. The difference is the length of the tip. Most pros uses use a #2-#3. I prefer a #5.

                              Check out that Lopez image I sent you. Note the big, fat, juicy lines used around the ape's fist. These lines are not built up, they're single strokes made while bouncing the tip up and down. Compare to the fine lines of the ape's muzzle. Same tool (except for the chain outline, everything is a #5 brush.)

                              Nothing will suck the life out of your work faster that overworking it. Going back over lines to build them up is overworking. Try finding tools that will allow you to go "one and done" no matter how thick or thin.


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