Comic pages are typically drawn in pencil first, then finished with a variety of techniques. The time it takes to fully realize a page in a color comic is so labor intensive that most comic companies divide that labor between a handful of specialized artists.
3. The inker – who is sometimes the sole illustrator of a comic – finishes the penciled art with ink, or a simulation of ink in a computer program.
Not all comics are produced in an assembly-line manner, but when they are, the penciler usually gets most of the glory because they’re the ones laying out the story based on the writer’s plot, and define the general style of the art. But the inker’s job is to make the art look as refined and professional as possible.
4. One artist, Ramon K. Perez, has uploaded several videos to his Instagram account that shows how the inking process works.
5. In this time lapse clip, you can watch as Perez transforms a loose sketch into a gorgeous finished drawing by “inking” it in PhotoShop.
He makes it look so easy.
6. Here’s another where he inks a drawing of Venom.
It’s like magic.
9. Perez also inks comics the old fashioned way, with pens and brushes.
10. Francis Manapul, Perez’s studio mate at the Royal Academy of Illustration and Design in Toronto, is also fond of showing his inking process on Instagram.
11. Manapul is currently the illustrator and co-writer of Batman: Detective Comics for DC Comics.
In other words, he pencils and inks every page on his own.
12. He recently shared a series of Instagrams in which he showed each step in drawing an image of Batman.
19. When that’s all done, he scans the page into PhotoShop and puts in a few finishing touches.
20. There’s a lot more videos of inkers at work out there. Here’s a time lapse clip in which veteran inker Scott Williams inks a page of Jim Lee’s pencils for Superman Unchained.
21. This tutorial video by Jazmin Santiago shows every step of her drawing process in PhotoShop.
22. And this video by Justin Anville is a time lapse of his meticulous inking process.
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