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When I draw my line drawings I always ink them. Well, come to think of it I don't think I need to ink at all.
Here's the method I am thinking about. Part of the process is inspired by how Yukito Kishiro scans and works on his comic book pages.
1) Do a clean pencil drawing with a 2B Prisma Turquoise pencil.
2) scan it with 600dpi.
3) Adjust brightness/contrast, then switch the mode to bitmap mode in Photoshop, with 50% threshhod.
4) Switch back to RGB mode, then color the line drawing.
Yeah, pretty simple. But I've been trying to emulated inked look without actually inking. Inking a drawing can take up a lot of time, so I've been looking to save time.
Saving time isn't the number one way to make good looking art.
You don't mention what your desired end result is (comics or illustration?), but you may not need to ink your work. Generally printing processes now are pretty good, and the original purpose of inking line work isn't really needed any more. These days it's done more because it's the expected look for comics. You can as easily apply color over good pencils if you prefer to not ink your work.
If it is for digital painting with scanned work I have always wondered how to have the best quality scanned lines of what is actually there. So maybe this is what he is asking?
Actually it's a little bit of both. Inking takes a lot of time and I realized that it won't really increase the quality that much, if I can clean up the pencil lines in Photoshop.
Is inking necessary? No.
But if you want something to look inked, the best way is to actually ink it. You could fake it, but to be honest that'd probably be more work than just making the real deal.
Of course, you could just go for a different look if you're not up for inking. There are many ways to skin a cat.
-My work can be found at my local directory thread.
Personally, I like to ink some works I do, because I love the art of inking. But I don't think it is always necessary, in some of my works, I just colourize it when I want a more realistic effect, removing all pencil lines. As some people said before, this option should be yours, depending of the result you want.
If you are working digitally, it's up to you. I have scanned in and digitally painted works done in ink, ballpoint pen, and pencil. Ink drawings usually end up looking more neater and smoother, and less work editing it digitally. Pencil work can be made darker, but you will get white streaks and jagged edges, which can mean more work cleaning it up. It depends on what style you are looking for...if you like "gritty" style, scanned pencil work is the way to go.
I just did an experiment with a pencil drawing I found in this forum. (it's by a guy who works/worked for Image comics. Well, it works. I adjusted the brightness/contrast then switched to bitmap mode in 600 dpi. The printed result is so beautiful. It looks like it was actually inked.