From sketch to ink process

So, k asked what program did I used to create the Nurse Mirai fan art in my previous entry. So in this entry I will show three stages from sketching (with a pencil) to an inked and partially cleaned up image.

I drew this sketch when I was not at home on 80g weight paper, using a mechanical pencil. Before I inked the sketch with a drawing pen, I managed remember to take a picture of the sketch with my camera (hence you see all the artifacts around the sketch).

As you can see, the pencil sketch is rather rough, with many broken lines. Since I decided to ink with a pen, I left it rough as I will be erasing the pencil lines afterwards. Occassionally I like how the pencil lines look and go straight to scanning and colouring, but this time I intended to ink it.

After inking with a drawing pen and erasing the pencil marks (most of it anyways), I was home by then, so I could scan the image into the computer. I scanned the artwork in minimal 300 dpi. Sometimes I go higher if the artwork is small. But usually when you scan at high resolution you’ll see that the line art is kinda rough (see below). After scanning I need to adjust the levels in Photoshop to make the lines black and the surroundings white.

There is a reason why we scan at higher than 300 dpi resolution, eventually when we have the colour image completed we could shrink the final coloured art a little (example for website use) and the outline would become finer and smoother. But gotta remember, when we shrink the image, some details on the artwork will be lost.

The roughness of the outlines usually bug me and usually there may be specks of dust which shows up as little random dots after scanning, so I do an extra step to clean up the line art in Sai. (What is Sai?)
After some cleaning up of the line art (See below). I mainly clean up around the face, the eyes, and make sure the main outlines are not broken. When the lines are broken, ie – do not join at some point, it will make colouring a lot more tricky and time consuming later on :) I tend to try to smooth out lines which bugs me the most, and try to leave the others alone as if I clean everything up I might as well just redraw it in the computer ^^;

On a slightly non related note, Vivi says my dolly blog is updated ^^/

Phew… more next time, it’s late ^^;/ Thanks for staying with me :)

12 replies
  1. Aquilla
    Aquilla says:

    I think it’s cool that you ink by hand. I can’t ink by hand so I use a very long winded computer inking method my fiancé showed me years ago. It’s long but easy so I can deal with it.

    It’s always interesting to see how other people have different ways of doing the same things.

  2. Gargron
    Gargron says:

    Thank you for advicing. I will definetly try your method, as mine is no successful at all^^

    Btw, this Sai programme, it is not free, right? Are there free alternatives?

  3. chun
    chun says:

    @Aquilla It took a long time before I found the right pen which suits my needs, and lots of practice ^^; I always tell myself if the artists can do it it’s humanly possible ^^ and yes it is always interesting to see how other artist work ^^

    @Danny Huhu I gotta do it when I feel less iffy x_x/ But it is in progressu!

    @Gargron keep on trying ^^/ and there’s a demo version for Sai, do some googling ^^/ I bought my copy because I love using it so much ^^;

  4. chun
    chun says:

    @Daemonseed :) Well doesn’t hurt to have more practice! :D We all start somewhere lol! I am happy you like how I drew Mirai :3

  5. Coco the Bean
    Coco the Bean says:

    Yay, we get to see how chun makes her magical artwork!

    I could never figure out how to ink by hand and still make it look nice, so I just suck it up and use the pen tool. x[ Perhaps I’ll try experimenting more.

  6. chun
    chun says:

    @Coco the Bean experiment and practice! :D With determination you can do it ^^! Inking is not a bad idea really, as using pencils some lines or details can be lost, and lines are generally broken after scanning ^^;

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