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  1. #1
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    Drawing/"comic" pens

    I have recently found myself very attracted to comic-style art, I like the large areas of black and the dynamic feel those flat areas give.
    Being a young, aspiring artist, I moseyed on down to my local Rymans and purchased myself a drawing pen (0.8mm). After practicing with it for a bit by copying out of a couple of comics and even trying to apply it to my own work with varying degrees of success, I noticed problems with having just one width of pen: I could only do one thickness of line.

    The obvious solution was to get some more pens, however after a couple of days searching the web (ok, so maybe 3 hours over 2 days), and another trip to Rymans, it seems I can't get all the pen thicknesses I need. In packs I can only find 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.5, 0.7 and 0.8, but I need 1.0 at least. I find the biggest problem is filling in large areas of black, because it's using up my pen really fast and leaving obvious lines (there are no gaps through which you can see the paper, but you can see where I've drawn, y'know?).

    So my question is: Where can I get 1.0mm and up drawing pens? Amazon yields no helpful results (even when I specifically type in 1.0mm graphic pen). Does anyone else enjoy this style? If so, where do you get your pens? And how much do they cost? I found a couple of sites with inking pens (which I think are different), but they cost £20+.

    Please help!!
    Ta in advance.


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  3. #2
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    Use a pen for the detailed parts, use a nice marker for the larger swathes. It's what works for me, at least.
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    Here's something. I don't know if you've already had a look through it.

    http://www.cultpens.com/

    For spotting blacks you might want a brush and a bottle of black ink rather than fineliners. Try it for different line weights too! Or a dip pen or brush pen. I can't say I'm a seasoned expert and I'm not knocking drawing pens (still use a bunch myself, at times), but those other options also have their many charms and advantages.

    Also: who's charging you £20 for what kind of pen?
    ...which is only my opinion.
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    I love using ink but I'm still learning. By no means am I a professional but I have experimented a lot with different brands.

    Echoing the others, I think if you're hitting 1mm+ you might as well use markers, brush pens, brushes (Sumi ones are pretty sick), and nib pens, though I have seen "pens" which are 3mm at local art stores. My experience with those thicker pens is that they tend to run out really damn fast and, unless they're refillable or cheap to replace (Sharpies are good with that), it will cost a lot in the long run.

    I highly recommend the Pentel Pocket Brush if you're going with a brush pen for the larger blacks 'cause, out of other brands I've tried like Sakura and Copic, Pentel's brush tip lasts a hella long time (it still hasn't wrecked itself after 6 months of continual usage). Also, you can refill it which helps. EDIT: Here's a review by Parka Blog http://parkablogs.com/content/review...cket-brush-pen .

    As for the pricing, the most expensive I've seen at nearby stores is 7 bucks per pen, so I'm not sure how it would cost £20+. Of course, the refillable ones have a higher base cost so I'm not including those.
    Last edited by Alex Chow; February 3rd, 2012 at 10:47 PM.

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    Back when I did comics by hand I used nib pens for the lines, and brushes for filling in large areas of black. I hate the lines I get out of technical pens -- dead and crappy. Not my thing at all.

    Note: use heavy paper with brushes because ink is wet and if you put a lot of wet stuff on thin paper it'll buckle.
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    Serious inking is really best done with a brush. You should also experiment with a brush pen. The Pentel Brush Pen is an affordable and very awesome model at a reasonable price--and it's refillable. I've had mine sit without use for six months and the fibers didn't dry out. Good pen. Here's a link to it on dickblick.com:

    http://www.dickblick.com/products/pe...ckw=21894-1001

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    Real men ink with a brush.

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  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Real men ink with a brush.
    Or a quill pen.

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  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Real men ink with a brush.
    When I first read that, it read like something very different...

    [head out of the gutter, kitty]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vermis View Post
    Here's something. I don't know if you've already had a look through it.

    http://www.cultpens.com/

    For spotting blacks you might want a brush and a bottle of black ink rather than fineliners. Try it for different line weights too! Or a dip pen or brush pen. I can't say I'm a seasoned expert and I'm not knocking drawing pens (still use a bunch myself, at times), but those other options also have their many charms and advantages.

    Also: who's charging you £20 for what kind of pen?
    cultpens.com: £20 pen!! But like I said, from the nib and shape of it, I don't think this is the pen I'm looking for.
    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Real men ink with a brush.
    Real men crush beetle husks and bat guano into a paste and mix it with the blood of the seventh son of a seventh son, but I can't be arsed to find a shit ton of beetles, a cave and do time for murder.


    Thanks for all the links guys, I reckon the best compromise is to get a brush pen and a set with a few different sizes.

    What do you guys think of these?:
    0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5,0.8 Uni Pin
    Pentel brush pen

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyNSWOrLD View Post
    Real men crush beetle husks and bat guano into a paste and mix it with the blood of the seventh son of a seventh son, but I can't be arsed to find a shit ton of beetles, a cave and do time for murder.
    What sort of an idiot hyperbole is that? And it's true, actual brushes are pretty much the most useful tools to ink with (especially because bottle ink lasts long), and you can create several types of lines, thicknesses and styles even with one brush (and use nibs and pen for extra itty bitty details). The Pentel brushpen is pretty good, it's basically a brush, but it creates different look than an actual brush (and you can't work too fast with it, especially if the cartridge is getting empty as the ink won't flow to the brush fast enough, but it creates a nice craggy effect you can use).
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  16. #13
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    The Pentel Brush Pen is very very cool! I discovered that pen some month ago and i don't want to miss it. it's also a nice pen for doing sketches outdoor/on the go, since you dont need extra brushes plus ink plus water (i always take that one with me beside some normal pencils...).
    it basically feels like a real brush...i can also recommend the pentel fudepen if you want something bigger.

  17. #14
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    Same approach is used in engineering drafting (when we used to hand draft)
    This ink and a watercolor brush work the best for me:
    http://www.dickblick.com/products/ko...aterproof-ink/

    It has a very nice coverage without too many multiple coats, and a really dense pigment, and it doesn't wrinkle thinner papers as inks with higher water content.

    It's also good oif you can use the same ink throughout the drawing, for line work and for fills, so your blacks have the same hue and coverage. If I don't need a lot of brush like pen thickness variation, I still prefer to work with rapidographs.

    For larger areas we would outline the edge with a thicker rapidograph, 1mm for example, and then fill it in with the ink and paintbrush. Second or even third coat if needed.

    I was all excited when my drawing teachers showed the same technique in the drawing class. this is all if you need really dark non-transparent coverage.

    Ink washes and calligraphic stroke are a whole different ball of wax.

  18. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    Or a quill pen.
    Or make their own.

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...&postcount=288
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  19. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    What sort of an idiot hyperbole is that?
    What I'm saying is, that if I wanted to use a brush and ink I would, but its more convenient to use pens as they dry quicker and are more manageable for someone like me, who is used to the precision of a pen or pencil.
    Elwell could have said "traditionally, ink is used in the type of work you're looking to reproduce", but he didn't, he said "real men use ink". I could have replied in a super haughty tone and made a fuss, but that would be pointless, because I wasn't even slightly annoyed, instead I replied in the same jokey manner. If I'm honest, I cant even see why you brought it up...

    Thanks for the green light on the Pentel brush pen guys, I like to see what other people think about art tools before I blunder into a purchase :D

  20. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyNSWOrLD View Post
    What I'm saying is, that if I wanted to use a brush and ink I would, but its more convenient to use pens as they dry quicker and are more manageable for someone like me, who is used to the precision of a pen or pencil.
    So basically you don't want to take the time to actually learn how to use a brush to get as precise lines as with pens?
    I mean I agree that they dry slower, but personally to me convenient means that I don't have to buy bazillion different pens to create different width lines and soon end up cursing when the pens start to dry up and buy more pens and try to keep tabs which pen is getting dry and which isn't. But okay, lets agree we have different qualifications for convenient.

    Then again you say you don't want to use a brush but are going to get a Pentel Brush pen, which is basically a brush, so maybe you'll get into brushes in the end anyway
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  21. #18
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    This seems to be becoming a trend.

    Quote Originally Posted by s.ketch View Post
    You people will argue about anything.

  22. #19
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    In the long run learning to ink with a brush is the most convenient and economical road, since one tool will provide an infinite number of line qualities. A size three or four W&N series 7 will set you back a bit of cash, but with proper care can last for years, and once you've had the experience of using a really good brush it puts everything else in perspective.

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  23. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    So basically you don't want to take the time to actually learn how to use a brush to get as precise lines as with pens?
    I mean I agree that they dry slower, but personally to me convenient means that I don't have to buy bazillion different pens to create different width lines and soon end up cursing when the pens start to dry up and buy more pens and try to keep tabs which pen is getting dry and which isn't. But okay, lets agree we have different qualifications for convenient.

    Then again you say you don't want to use a brush but are going to get a Pentel Brush pen, which is basically a brush, so maybe you'll get into brushes in the end anyway
    its very possible that one day I will bow to your experience and agree that you were right about brushes and ink, but at the moment its convenience and enjoyment (which comes from convenience, because I don't have to worry about the tools and I can just concentrate on the art) over everything else for me.
    But this is a fucking stupid thing to argue about! I don't like brushes, I like pens, if I wanted the best result I'd use photoshop, 'cause it's just flat colour. The reason I want pens is because I like pens (and it's not like they can't do what I need them to ATM).
    I've used ink and brushes at school and on top of the fact that I've always preferred the look of pencil and pen to paint/ink and brushes, it would take a LOT of practice and time (which I don't really have right now (exams)) to get used to them, and if I like the way pens feel and how they look on the paper, then I reckon the best thing for me to use is a pen, not because I think they're the "right" thing to use, but because I'm doing this type of art for me, as fun, my own work, not for school or anything important. I just wanted to find some thick pens that will not leak through a page (like the one I have ATM) and that will give a similar look on the page to the thinner ones but with a thicker line.
    I appreciate the advice everyone has given me about inking brushes, but the long and the short of it is: I didn't ask for inking brushes, I asked for pens, admittedly I didn't make that clear so I cant get angry when brushes are mentioned.
    all of the above can be ignored as long as you read this next sentence:
    I prefer the feel of a pen when I use it in comparison to a brush.

    This seems to be becoming a trend.
    You people will argue about anything.
    Just because you don't think something is important, doesn't mean it isn't.
    We people discuss, we do not argue (at least I try to keep barbed remarks from my posts unless I actually mean them (which is VERY infrequently))

    And yes I understand the irony of "arguing" with you about me "arguing" with other people, so feel free not to reply to me.

  24. #21
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    Even if you're doing your linework with a pen, a brush is still going to be the most efficient thing to use for filling in large black areas. Microns come in a 1 (bullet tip), calligraphy tip (about 2-3mm), and a small brush tip, but any of those are still going to be pretty inefficient for large areas. Sakura's Sensei #1 is a bit larger than the Micron #1, but for anything bigger than that you probably need to go with a dye-based marker, which will have a slightly different visual quality than pigmented ink. That's not a problem if you're working for reproduction, though.

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  25. #22
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    For spotting large areas of black a Q-tip dipped in ink works great. This inking tip courtesy of "The Complete Book of Cartooning" by John Adkins Richardson. Long out of print, it's really worth hunting up, not least for its detailed instructions on inking with a brush.

    But don't discount your natural inclinations. Bruce Timm, Frank Cho, and P. Craig Russell all made the calculation early in their careers that when it came to inking they were "no good" with a brush. Timm And Cho do great work with markers and Russell has long been one of the comic industry's most sought-after inkers for his ability with a dip pen.

    A trick I learned for defeating the line-width problem with a tech-pen is to weave two lines together. that is, after drawing one line, draw a second line which closely parallels the first while occasionally crossing the first line, then fill in the spaces created by the intersecting lines to create a rhythm of thick and thin passages. An inking veteran showed me this technique.
    "Three's so little room for error."--Elwell

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  27. #23
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    http://www.amazon.com/Pentel-Pocket-...8391207&sr=8-1
    This is fun to play with. True, it's not as great as a brush and ink but it is pretty close and it is a lot cleaner/easier to take care of!

  28. #24
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    W&N series 7 brushes are very expensive. An alternative brand of brush, which others exclaim to be of similar quality to the W&N series 7 brushes, are the Rosemary Kolinsky Sable series 22. I have 3 of it, and they are great. I don't feel the need to buy any other brush.

    This company hand-makes brushes in the UK, so there will be some shipping fees for international orders, but it is still considerably less than the W&N series 7 brushes. I bought a size 7, 5, and 3, which combined actually still costs less than one brush of W&N series 7 size 7 from the store.

    https://www.rosemaryandco.com/index....9ghml69t7ronp7
    Last edited by Vay; February 4th, 2012 at 07:57 PM.
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  30. #25
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    I didn't know there were so many traditional comic experts, why don't I see more comic pages around here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyNSWOrLD View Post
    cultpens.com: £20 pen!!
    £6 pen. £3 pen. But add another vote for the Pentel brush pen, if you don't like the idea of 'normal' brushes. (yet) I remember when I was in your place, couldn't imagine starting with a brush or even a quill pen. It can be a difficult technique to pick up - I still haven't got it myself - but it is more satisfying even to try.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cory Hinman View Post
    For spotting large areas of black a Q-tip dipped in ink works great. This inking tip courtesy of "The Complete Book of Cartooning" by John Adkins Richardson. Long out of print, it's really worth hunting up, not least for its detailed instructions on inking with a brush.
    I like Gary Martin's book from Dark Horse. Plenty of preferences and explanations from other inkers in it, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by JFierce View Post
    I didn't know there were so many traditional comic experts, why don't I see more comic pages around here?
    I would do more but that Vincente Cifuentes kid keeps bugging me for advice.
    Last edited by Vermis; February 4th, 2012 at 09:08 PM.
    ...which is only my opinion.
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  32. #27
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    Just a small question: Is there a big difference between nib pens and quills? Or are there some kind of advantages? So far i'm only using nib pens and brushes but i always see quills in my local art stores...but for being "just" a feather in the end they always seemed to be quite expensive.

  33. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vay View Post
    W&N series 7 brushes are very expensive. An alternative brand of brush, which others exclaim to be of similar quality to the W&N series 7 brushes, are the Rosemary Kolinsky Sable series 22. I have 3 of it, and they are great. I don't feel the need to buy any other brush.

    This company hand-makes brushes in the UK, so there will be some shipping fees for international orders, but it is still considerably less than the W&N series 7 brushes. I bought a size 7, 5, and 3, which combined actually still costs less than one brush of W&N series 7 size 7 from the store.

    https://www.rosemaryandco.com/index....9ghml69t7ronp7
    Good to know. My inclination is inking with a brush, but I swear for at least the last 20 years I've been reading statements by comic pros bemoaning the drop in quality of the WNseries7 brush.
    "Three's so little room for error."--Elwell

  34. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Real men ink with a brush.
    Just ask Joe Sinnott.
    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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  36. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Real men ink with a brush.
    Oh, izzat right? 'cause I'll have you know SHE inks with a brush...
    "Three's so little room for error."--Elwell

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