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Inks over Hades' Aquaman

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  • Inks over Hades' Aquaman

    Done for inking practice. let me know what you think.

    Pencils: Hadesillustrations

    Digital Inks: me

    Raised as a babe in drawing arenas to become the art warrior that I am today.

    Pummel: lightheavy weight rank- wins-27 losses-20 KO-11

  • #2
    Please post pencils for comparison.
    On an Extended Sabbatical.


    • #3
      Cheers, Alex


      • #4
        I’ll start off by saying that I’m an amature, and a lot of what I’m suggesting are the same things I struggle with as well. Take all of this with a grain of salt.

        Lineweights: If you’re serious about inking and you haven’t picked it up yet (it looks like you have from some of the stuff you’re doing), get The Art of Comic-Book Inking by Gary Martin. It’s pretty much the inker’s bible as far as I’m concerned. Chapter 4 talks about contour lines and some best practices. I think your lineweights are a bit mismatched. It looks like you’re using a deadweight holding line around your figures, which I think is really hard to pull off. I can appreciate that (it looks like) you are trying to put a heavier line around things that are closer to the viewer, but I think with these pencils by doing that you destroy some of what the penciler was doing. His linework is very loose and although I try to use the same idea, for this I would have use a more subtle thickness. Around the closest hammerhead and the plant it's too heavy. Try varying your lineweights a bit - thick and thin - both for your holding lines and for the interior linework. Some guys pull off the deadweight line for their holding lines, but the detail and interior linework is more varied. In Brian Bolland's more recent stuff seems to be doing that.

        Light source: Again, I can appreciate that you are trying to convey a sense of depth and shadowing, which is good, but on Aquaman the drastic thickness change looks awkward. Varying your lineweight would help with this a bit, or a more subtle change from thicknesses might help. I’d also argue that the light looks more like it’s coming behind him as opposed to the side, so I might have use a different strategy in regard to this.

        Spotting Blacks/Depth of Field: Chapter 5 of the book above talks about this. This is one thing I see a lot of inkers (and pencilers for that matter) not thinking about, but their work would benefit greatly from it. An inker can literally change the whole dynamic of the piece by applying these principles. Look at the samples of Sundra and Jil in the back of the book and you can see a real difference in the way each inker approaches the linework using this theory. Because I’m slow and not all that good at inking, I usually study the piece for quite a while to see how I want to convey depth of field and what plain I want the more solid blacks to end up on.

        Face: One thing I try to do is to stick like glue to what the penciler does on the faces (unless there's horrendous errors or tangents that need to be corrected). Your inked face is pretty different from the pencils. In the pencils there's more darks around the eyes. His jaw is a bit too wide from left to right. I can't tell if you went with just a super light lineweight for the beard, or you decided to use a grayscale line. I'd shy away from the greyscale unless you're going to introduce more greyscale somewhere else. Otherwise it distracts your eye, draws it too much attention to it, and tends to flatten the face.

        Scales: The scales are being used to convey the body mass of his chest and stomach, and since his body has turned from the lightsource, I’d view them as being in shadow. I think I might have brought some solid lines in to define the stomach and chest, and ink the scales into them. The shape of your scales are distracting and are not conveying the body mass. I would go look at how some other inkers render chainmail or scales and try to study what they're doing. I struggle with this as well.

        Rendering/Texture: Every line you put down should work toward building depth, volume, and detail. If they are not doing that, then they should not be there. I think you missed some opportunities on the closest hammerhead to use some of the crosshatching the penciler shows to build volume. That area is tricky because it’s showing a dark shark on a dark background, so you really have to work to convey the sense of depth and mass on the shark and the background. Your rendering of the hill crest behind the shark is incorrect. I don’t often say that, but you’ve lost the nuance of the way the penciler is trying to convey the lighting across the crest of the hill, and it just looks flat. The crest of the hill is a light area, and the sharks eye there is rendered in shadow, so using those two against each other should create more depth for the shark and the hill.

        The head of the closer shark shows some of the rendering I’m referring to, but then you chose to show the body and fins of the shark as solid black. The two are inconsistent, and I’d suggest going one way or the other, but not mix the two on it.

        The line of the hill directly behind the plant is very distracting. It doesn’t fit with any of the other linework you did and needs to be thinner.

        For the shark to Aquaman’s left I think I wouldn’t mix the direction of the rendering. I’d have followed more closely to what the pencils suggests, or even follow the geometry of the linework for the light from the water, but that might be more stylistic. With my stuff, I try to make the interior rendering and feathering flow together more. You killed some of the form of this shark by rendering the shadow on it’s belly different than what the linework suggests. Sharks are fairly smooth, so the line on the viewer’s left on it’s belly is jarring. I think you missed some opportunities on the mouth and head to convey more volume as well.

        The lighting in the water is something that I’ve been thinking a lot about, and specifically the way you chose to render it. It may be stylistic again, but I don't care for the white erased sections you did. I think the way you rendered the rest is decent, but I’d suggest that if you're carrying that feel of the rays of light through the shadow areas on the sharks, the lines should “line up” with the geometry of the lines in the water. If you look at the larger shark directly to the right of Aquaman, you used some of the water geometry, but around it’s mid section you alter the geometry slightly, which makes it look sloppy.

        Line Control: Some of your linework is a bit sloppy and I think that comes down to practice and control. If you’re working on a Wacom, I can relate, and because of the slickness of the surface of the Wacom it shows in my work as well. Don’t be afraid to use straight edges, rulers, and templates to keep your linework crisp and flowing. Working digitally, I have the tendency to think I can blow off using rulers, but it will show in the final product. I think your linework in the water looks this way. Even if you want it to be somewhat curved, you can use a French curve, or the digital equivalent, and pick a center point to work out from.

        Tangents: This is so small, I almost didn’t mention it, but you’re created a tangent in Aquaman’s feet. As an inker you are to eliminate tangents as much as possible, not create them. I’d suggest that following the actual linework of Aquaman’s left foot a bit closer would fix that. With Aquaman’s left hand something similar is occurring with the water rendering. You chose to skip the rendering lines to the viewer’s right of his hand, so the linework that comes out from the viewer’s left of his hand looks odd. There’s nothing to anchor it to the rest of the water lines, so it creates an awkward tangent.

        I think overall it’s a decent piece. The pencils are probably looser than I’d attempt, so kudos for you to even take them on in the first place. I think the more you practice you’ll get better line control. Hope this helps. Good luck!
        On an Extended Sabbatical.


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