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Moon Knight...badly inked

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  • Moon Knight...badly inked

    I don't know if its because I'm tired, I felt a bit rushed, or I'm just burned out from work, but I feel my inking on this piece is even worse than normal. Please help me fix my inks.
    Cheers, Alex

  • #2
    I like the inks on Moon Knight, I think all you need to do is slow down and you are golden.

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    • #3
      Could be alittle cleaner . I really like this , the shadow MK is casting on the sidewalk is a nice touch .

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      • #4
        I agree that the inks brought the pic down. They seem rather messy and rushed, and it looks like you've worked with a pretty unprecise tool. The feathering seems rather chaotic and "hairy"too. It's always a good idea to try and follow the form you're hatching.

        Maybe try to either pick up the Gary Martin book on inking, or try to emulate the look of your favorite inkers?
        http://jel.deviantart.com

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        • #5
          Thanks Morg, DogSoldier and Jel. Morg hit the nail on the head - I rushed and screwed it all up. I appreciate the input guys and I'll keep working on the inks.
          Cheers, Alex

          Comment


          • #6
            Well, you pretty much butchered this one, eh? No--I'm not trying to be mean, but I'm absolutely trying to be brutally being honest. I think we all need that sometimes. It's pretty easy to see that you've not being inking very long, man, and even if you have, I think my critique might help steer you in a better direction, so I'm going to give you my two cents worth. I think you really need to read what I have to say.

            I think you had a great thing going in the pencils, and your inks pretty much killed it all. Yep. You might as well have nuked it from orbit, Corporal Hicks. .

            But don't sweat it, Alex. There will be plenty more drawings to ink, and Moon Knights to render. This sort of thing is all a part of the game. As artists we have to try new things, and experiment with new techniques. Sometimes we have great successes, and other times we fail. That's how it goes. There's not an inker alive who hasn't gutted their own work dozens of times as they were learning to ink. If I had a bullet for every pencilled drawing I've killed by being heavy-handed in the inking, I could probably start an arsenal. It looks to me like you tried to make this inking work, and when you discovered that it wasn't, you kept on trying to figure out a way to make it happen. Unfortunately, I don't think it worked out. There's that brutality/honesty thing again...

            I do agree with what the others have already said. You need to slow down and think about what you're doing a little more. Before you put ink to paper, I recommend having a solid game plan. Based on your finished image, I'm at a loss to figure out what that game plan might have been, Alex, but it really didn't pan out. Your lack of line control--too many thick outlines, etc--hurts the overall image a great deal, but it's your lack of dark vs light inking theory that has conspired to undermine this illustration. At a glance, I can see that you have spotted black shadows in the foreground...and you spotted black in the middle ground...and you spotted black in the background... Well, that approach usually doesn't work out too well. If you spot blacks everywhere in every plane, you're forcing the viewer's eye to work harder to figure things out. You're creating pockets of contrast all over the place, and these little islands of contrast end up becoming a huge visual distraction, and your drawing loses focus.

            A better theory would have been to spot heavy black in the foreground, even less black in the middle ground, and the least amount of black (if any) in the background. Basically a dark to gray to white theory. That would have worked better in creating depth. You could have also done dark in the foreground, light in the middle ground, and dark in the background.Black-white-black. That might have worked, because there middle ground is contrasted, and focus would be clearer. Wally Wood diagrams this "three stage" theory very well on his "22 PANELS THAT ALWAYS WORK" page (which I recommend for printing out):
            http://joeljohnson.com/images2/wallywood22panel2560.jpg

            A better inking theory concerning the detailing in the different planes would also helped a lot also. It probably would have been better to keep objects cleaner on the whole and less detailed, considering the complexity of the nature of the scene taking place in your illustration. Less detail on objects furthest from the viewer would be advisable. All the excessive detail you've placed in your background completes for attention with objects in the foreground and middle ground. It's best to keep such background details as simple as possible for that reason. Using thinner lines on the brick wall and building in general would have been better. Thinner lines would keep those objects recessed in the background. The big problem though is that all the extra details on the bricks distracts attention. It presents the viewer's eye with a too many small pockets of black, and the pockets of contrast created by all that steals the viewer's attention away from what's important, which is Moon Knight and the fight. Simply drawing in fewer bricks (there's no real reason to actually draw every single brick on the wall here) and depicting the bricks as only outlines with just a few texture dots here and there would have helped. A little texture and detail can go along way. By trying to shadow each individual brick and add black the windows, etc, you hurt your illustration.

            You gained: some individual texture and weight to each of the bricks.
            You lost: depth of field in the overall drawing. Visual focus and clarity.

            On my score card you lost a lot more than you gained. Your picture is now flatter, and the viewer is now not focusing in on what's important in your drawing. In short: you blew it.

            The guys in the middle ground are overly detailed and rendered. The feathering you've done on those characters also fails to do all it is supposed to do. I whole heartedly agree with Gary Martin's THE ART OF COMIC BOOK INKING in regards to feathering. Martin states that there are three main reasons to use feathering:

            -Feathering can be used to soften a hard, black edge.
            -Feathering can be used to show graduating values from light to dark.
            -Feathering can give form and volume to objects and figures.

            I'm afraid to say your feathering fails to show a graduation of values to light to dark. Those hard black shadows clearly still retain a crisp edge. Feathering isn't easy to do. I absolutely understand that, but I'm making a fuss about it here because I want you to work on it, man. You need to be careful with the feathering in general. Too much feathering in an illustration or comic panel can take away from visual clarity. I assume though that you added the extra feathering in an effort to try to contrast the guys away from that overly detailed brick wall? The feathering on MK's cape actually slows him down some, I think. My advice is to ease up some on the rendering, and work more on clarity in your overall drawing. Don't worry about giving every little object in your drawing maximum detail. It won't work well. Clarity and depth are two things you'll always be fighting to maintain in your drawing, so you need to think of ways to achieve these goals. When in doubt, KEEP IT SIMPLE. Simple usually works. Complex rendering = added complications. I recommend working on keeping things simple for now, streamlining your artwork and figuring out how you can best master clarity and depth. Once you get that down, then you can move forward with the rendering if that's your goal. If that's the direction you'd like to move towards, I recommend artists like Bernie Wrightson, Gary Gianni, Art Adams, and Paolo Eleuteri Serpieri.

            Also, don't be afraid to use a ruler on buildings, windows, etc. Those are mechanical objects for the most part, so it's okay to use mechanical assistance. A straight edge is a GOOD thing. :n my best Cartman voice: Only hippies refuse 'em!!:: Heh. If you can freehand buildings and windows and other features with great skill, then you probably don't need to use a ruler, but based on what I'm seeing here, I recommend that you use one.

            Anyway, I hope some of this makes sense. I loved this drawing in the early stages, but the finishes didn't work out. I feel sure you'll do better on your next inking though. Every time you ink something, you're bound to improve. I for one can't wait to see your progress, man! I really feel like you're on the cusp of hitting a new level with your work. You're not afraid to experiment. You take crits well (thus my brutal honesty), and you learn from each piece you do! Keep it up and you're going to be a forced to be reckoned with someday very soon.

            Loston
            http://www.lostonwallace.com
            http://lostonwallace.deviantart.com


            I HAVE A NEW WEBSITE NOW!! FINALLY!! SHOW ME SOME LOVE, & CHECK IT OUT:
            http://www.lostonwallace.com

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            • #7
              Loston, thanks man. I really appreciate the time you, and everyone else for that matter, have put into my progression. I knew I blew this one and I'm really bent about it, but I'm chalking this up to a learning experience. Royally screwing up this piece was a catalyst for a phenomenal critique that I'll learn much from. Now that I'm done screwing up this piece I'm on to screwing up the next one.
              Cheers, Alex

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Alex,

                I agree with the very good feedback you received and I don't have anything more to add, but I just want to also join the other about I'm 100% sure you're going to improve in it in a quick way.
                Simone Guglielmini
                http://www.simoneguglielmini.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Good feedback that I won't add to, but this thread reminds me of an interesting point. 300 bucks for an oversize printer, and you never have to worry about screwing up a nice pencil drawing again. Something to think about, and thats assuming that you have a scanner and computer. Personally I don't see how anyone EVER managed or manages to ink directly over graphite. My boards are so eraser chewed that I am guaranteed 5 to 10 feathery ink pools per page when I hand ink. So I just scan, print in light blue, and ink directly onto a clean board. Of course, I hand ink maybe once a year, so maybe its a moot point, but you should think about it. Inking problems aside, its a nice piece, moon knight is dynamic and cool looking.

                  Adam
                  Echo on Tapas

                  Echo on line Webtoon

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Adam Masterman View Post
                    Good feedback that I won't add to, but this thread reminds me of an interesting point. 300 bucks for an oversize printer, and you never have to worry about screwing up a nice pencil drawing again. Something to think about, and thats assuming that you have a scanner and computer. Personally I don't see how anyone EVER managed or manages to ink directly over graphite.
                    Yeah, that's exactly what I do. Print out my pencils as blue line on bristol and ink over it that way.

                    Having said that though, I learned how to ink by going straight over my pencils and I think there's something to be said for that process as well. Helps you to learn how to pencil for the inking process and there's a certain motivation that helps you learn when there's the danger of screwing up.
                    See my work on Game of Thrones seasons two, three and four blurays
                    DeviantArt

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dfbovey View Post
                      Yeah, that's exactly what I do. Print out my pencils as blue line on bristol and ink over it that way.
                      I do the same too
                      Simone Guglielmini
                      http://www.simoneguglielmini.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It doesn't help that most of the pieces I post here (including this one) are on cheap copy paper. I really don't erase much, which, I hope, is a testament to my penciling skills. I eliminate construction lines and that's it - I rarely have to redraw a whole figure. I've tried inking on vellum and that's just annoying. The copy method may be great, but my brain tells me I'd be "cheating" - silly, I know. Thanks for the ideas though. Bottom line - I need to practice and not ink when I'm in a rush or a bad mood. My heart and mind were not in it and it shows terribly.
                        Cheers, Alex

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hadesillustrations View Post
                          Loston, thanks man. I really appreciate the time you, and everyone else for that matter, have put into my progression. I knew I blew this one and I'm really bent about it, but I'm chalking this up to a learning experience. Royally screwing up this piece was a catalyst for a phenomenal critique that I'll learn much from. Now that I'm done screwing up this piece I'm on to screwing up the next one.
                          You're eventually going to get to a point where you wont even consider the possibility of screwing up the inks. Experience is all you need, and you've got a great work ethic and the talent to get the job done, so I certainly believe in you and your work. I also appreciate your great attitude towards art and towards others. Very inspiring.

                          Loston
                          http://www.lostonwallace.com
                          http://lostonwallace.deviantart.com


                          I HAVE A NEW WEBSITE NOW!! FINALLY!! SHOW ME SOME LOVE, & CHECK IT OUT:
                          http://www.lostonwallace.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            All of the mistakes Alex made in his inking are the same kinds of mistakes I'm still making when I ink. Loston's critique was very helpful for me as well. So I guess my point is don't feel too bad about it because there are plenty of us out there in the same boat as you and we can all learn from each others' mistakes.

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