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Halo tools by Blasterkid Halo tools by Blasterkid
I wanted to post this up because I get asked occasionally "what are you inking with?"

and also to maybe demystify what you need to ink with to get I guess people call "professional" results. I came into comics not knowing anything...I wasn't a fan of comics, I didn't draw comic art as a kid..or even in my teens...I saw the art in my early 20's went...that looks cool...and got work about a year later as an inker./ Don't buy into that it's some elite private's hard and dedicate yourself to your art work...and you can get work if you stick to it.

I am using 3 pens (just on this piece....I DO use hunt 102 crow quills, a writing old school illustration nib sometimes and also brushes depending on the art), on this particular piece there are no templates or straight edges...I have a rag on my desk because its at an angle and the rag helps makes things not slide off.

that's it.

I was told before I broke in THIS WAS NOT A PROFESSIONAL set up. ( a few tech pens) I bit my tongue and learned what they felt I needed to know...and as soon as I was in the door I started slowly going back to these tools. I DO use a brush and a crow quill depending on the job so it's not like you should be closed minded and a stubborn person about trying new things...

but I think it's also important to point out:

You don't need a million things to get going...The Koh I Nor tech pens are pricey but I am pretty sure you can get a set of 6 or 7 pens for about $35-50.

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darquem Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
WHEN i was a wee lad i used to use these annoying things since it was the only way i knew. but cleaning them was a problem for me. until i learned to take them apart and pull the nib out and put it back in. it ruined a few at first but looking back it was probably the wrong black ink i was using. i think it was on your other fb site that you showed a photo of pages sent from finch re batman. i assumed you used the ink from kohinor with the 102 and brush but i honestly assumed these pens had seen their hayday... well good for you...

another thing i learned using these pens was to tap the bottoms upside down and they would unclog pretty simply fyi... i assumed taping the pen with the cap on face down would be better but i believe all that did was drip the ink into the pen and mess it up... backwards was the key
JeffBlinkinsop Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2012  Student Artist
Have you posed a high res of this man? Its great!!
JeffBlinkinsop Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2012  Student Artist
Great advice brotha, I am just getting into inking myself. Got myself lots of blue lines to play with. This page looks incredible man!
EDGARSALAZAR Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012  Professional Artist
Amazing, love the work! May i ask what you use for white out?
joshuajoseph Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011
wat materials u use :?
leaf-saw Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I've always wondered two questions. Please bear with me!

How do you manage to get all the blacks in so... black? Basically, how would you go about avoiding brushstrokes being seen in a final copy of something? :o

And also, as an inker, do you ink over the original pencil version or is that a scan?

I absolutely love your art! Your lines are so clean and just made of delicious awesome. THANK YOU for showing your progress shots and everything else on dA, they're amazing.
Blasterkid Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011
I do normally ink over the original don't have to..though...make a scan and you can print it out on some sort of proper art board if your printer can handle it.

as for black ink can be a little watery....leave the bottle open (or one bottle open) so that some of the liquid evaporates...maybe a day or a little more) it will get thicker and thicker (and blacker)

you won't want to do that with all your ink...because it might not flow well off a crow quill...

or out of a tech pen for instance.

hope that helps


Paigeone25 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2011
Great, Great, Great advice. Thanks
Spacefriend-KRUNK Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2011  Professional Artist
i get a lot of shit for using rapidios, too. i was self-taught and by the time i really knew what other pros are using, i had a style built around them. i still use brushes and nibs, but i almost always use the tech pens for the majority of every piece. however, i always try to get younger folk to use the traditional tools because of the amount of time
BroHawk Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011
Are u the last man on EARTH using 'rapidograph' pens? :??
Blasterkid Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011
I use a lot of brush and different crow quills as well...koh i nor tech pens are mainstay for some work I do...not all.

especially for inking other people...I let their work dictate the tools which most times isn't with tech pens

my stuff I am a lot more likely to use them because that's what I've drawn with since I was about 16.

Leinil was into the work Travis and I had done so the tech pens tied into that style in a very natural way

MARR-PHEOS Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011
thanks for sharing man, i really appreciate what you've said here.
SpiderGuile Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
simply amazing! :o
Katana2071 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
very good job i find that tech pens lend themselves to certain inking styles and pencil work. i personally like using pens but i find the crow quill also fun to ink with. maybe you should mention what kinda ink u use for ur pens ie do u mix inks if so how much and what brands i know i would ask that atleast. haha
renonevada Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm an ink snob, which I guess is as good as any way to say I enjoy doing as much as possible with my brush. Still, you can't argue with results when they look like this. One of the things that separates this from some amateur tech pen inks is a real sense of depth and weight to the character. Once that is understood, the rest comes easily, no matter the tools.
Blasterkid Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011
exactly....the tool is just a way to lay down the line...but it's in the mind and your overall sense (your "eye") of how to create a dynamic image that will make the final image work.

I worked with a brush a lot....and I use it all the time...I use tech pens like a brush also the way I throw lines and whatnot with them...same goes for a nib (crow quill) they all work like brushes truth be told./
boricuanart Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
still love thiss and i just got a faber castell brush pen do u ever work with those ? i love it so far it makes coloring the large black areas soo much easier than my markers
StruggleFish Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I use mostly Micron pens. Thanks for posting this :)
Grimwolf13 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I had brought a sample page to my local comic shop (shout out to Paperback Trader @ UConn!) when Keith Champagne was there signing for Aztek #1... he looked at my work and asked what I used. I had a set of Staedlater Drafting pens, and he advised me to never use a mechanical pen on an organic shape because it flattens the natural curves etc. A year later I saw him again with some new stuff... he looked at me, paused, and said "Didn't I tell you not to use mechanical pens? Forget what I said, you managed to make it work!"

That was the only professional critique I've officially had. (Yeah I stuck with it and rarely use crow quills too! LOL)
DerekDwyer Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The details!!! Great to see a piece like this =D
ashigaru Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Professional General Artist
Y'know, if you can ink by sharpening a stick and dipping it in ink, (which I've done with interesting results), then more power to ya. It's the results that count. Tools are just a way to get the imagination, creativity and effects you're trying to convey in the art. It's the artist that makes it art.

I love tech pens; I just find them tedious to clean. I think that's one of the reasons most of my art has moved towards digital. :rofl:

BTW, I'll be at the Digital Arts Tutorial booth helping Brian Haberlin and Francis Takenaga at SDCC again this year. As usual, I'll probably hunt you down in Artist's Alley to say hi.
sacana456 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
wow this looks amazing man, fav for sure ;)
NickMockoviak Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Damn straight Rich: whatever it takes to get the J-O-B done. Yes, I love the look of a brush, but it's about the end result. Frank Cho uses Microns, so there. :D
myopicmalcontent Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
When people tell me any tool isn't professional, I just tell them MAUS was drawn on copy paper using ball point pens.
7daywalk Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
I love that you also use pens... There are some on DA who have critizied my work because I use pens on some of my work. I really love the Halo piece! I can't wait to see this finished!
Judgess Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
did you inking on the same paper? I'm always inking on my tracing table with new paper on top of my pencil work. I'm not working on comic, but I really love ink work
Gretchdragon Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
WOW, outstanding! I remember these pens from my high school mom did a lot of drafting, and my GOD, I think she spent more time cleaning the damn things than actually using them. She even got a sonic cleaner to get the nibs cleaned out and prevent clots.
Blasterkid Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011
I've never used that just have to keep them clean...I wash mine out maybe once every week...probably longer(once a month maybe)...the smaller the pen the more likely it is to get gunky.


a friend in high school turned me onto them...he'd do these really elaborate doodles...I loved them and it inspired me to pick up the gray tech pen...I've loved them and always used it to some extent in my drawings ever since.
JBNeto Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011  Professional General Artist
diecast75 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011
psdguy Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011
I used those pens in school. Do you ever get the "blots"? We used to have to use an ellipse to draw curved lines on vellum and build the curve from one curve to another. Drawing slow always seem to make more ink run out of the end of the pen than I wanted...
Blasterkid Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011
wipe the pen if you see inking building on the tip...for whatever reason a hot day will build pressure in the pen and also make it more leaky....just clean it out and add a lot less ink...seems like a pain...but it's 10 minutes that will make the 2 or 3 (or 8 or 9 hours) you draw with it...a lot funner./
psdguy Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011
Thanks for the advice.

Do you favor one ink more than another? Or does it all depend on what tool you are using as to the type of ink you use? (Brush compared to tech pen compared to crow quill etc...)
Blasterkid Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011
I always use the same's not that it's such an amazing ink either but it's been really consistent(at a high level though..don't take that the wrong way)'s Koh I Nor...and I'll use either Ultradraw or Universal...I've found very little difference with either and I think both are great inks/
Jack02krauser Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011  Student Digital Artist
That is really awesome....thanks for the advice man
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Submitted on
July 12, 2011
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u-miniD,Stylus V
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1/40 second
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Date Taken
Nov 30, 1999, 12:00:00 AM
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