INKING TUTORIAL – Tips & Tricks to Add Line Weight

INKING TUTORIAL – Tips & Tricks to Add Line Weight


– [Voiceover] Hey guys, so I got a lot of
requests to do an inking tutorial so that’s what I’m doing here. People specifically wanted
to know what tools should they use, how do they know how to make the liner art look good,
how to make it not look shaky, where do you thicken the lines, that kind of thing. So
most of this tutorial is gonna focus on line weight, but I first wanted to mention some
tools you can use because you have so many options. It really depends what medium you’re
using. There’s all kinds of things here. So I use a lot of Copic markers for my art. So
I want to use a pen that is alcohol proof since they’re alcohol-based markers. You really
never know when you buy a pen if it’s going to work or not, so it’s a lot of trial and
error or even research if you can find someone online who’s reviewed a certain pen. But this
is my go to pen, just the normal Copic multiliner. I usually use size point three but the label’s
rubbed off, so I’m showing a point five for this video. Point three I think is the best
multiliner size. I use it for 95 percent of my artwork, and I sometimes use a point one,
but I will pretty much never grab this point five to use. I think point three is the best
and if you’re looking to get a second one, point one is good. Same applies to these Microns.
These are pretty good as well. Let’s see, what else do I have here. This one is a little
Staedtler fineliner. It’s actually the same as these guys pretty much. You can use a regular
ballpoint pen. You could use this kind of pen. It’s a liquid ink pen by Pilot. You can
use dip pens. These are the kind you have to dip into ink. I actually have a video about
these and about different inks, so if you want to know more about these, I’ll leave
a link to that in the video description. It’s a bit of an older video, but I think there’s
still some good information there. So let’s just put these on the side. You can use different
colored inks, so I have a set here of Staedtler fineliners. These are pretty nice. Then you
can also use pencils to outline your work. I just did that in my most recent video. I
used a brown and really liked how it gave a soft look. This Copic multiliner is exact
same as this one. It’s just a refillable version. You can change a nib, replace ink cartridge.
Just a little bit more on the fancy side, but it’s the same ink. Then there’s also brush
pens. Brush pens are really nice for getting different line weight, but I feel like mine
are messed up. Like this one looks like the tip was cut off. Like it’s not even pointy.
Then my other one, it’s a little pointier, the nib looks a bit longer, but it’s frayed
at the tip. It’s always been like that, so I don’t know, maybe I just need to buy new
tips for mine. But with the brush liner you could press lighter for a thinner line and
press harder for a thicker line. So that’s an option as well. You can even use just a
paintbrush dipped in ink to ink your drawing. The possibilities are endless. No matter what
you want to use as your tool, the tips I’m going to show you apply to any of these, no
matter what you’re using. I’m going to be using the Copic multiliner in mine, but no
matter what tool you’re using, these tips can help you. Okay, let’s say you have your
sketch. Where do you go from there? You can ink directly onto the paper you drew it on,
but I don’t like to do that because I tend to get a heavy hand toward the end of my sketching
process and it can be really hard to erase all the pencil lines. Also I just kind of
like preserving the original sketch. I want to be able to flip through my sketchbook and
see the original sketch. So I like to ink on a separate piece of paper. So my usual
process is I’ll sketch in my sketchbook or on a piece of spare paper I have lying around,
and then I will trace onto my nice paper, whether that’s my marker paper, watercolor
paper, whatever I’m using. So here’s a sketch. You want to have your other piece of paper
you want to trace it onto. Where do you go from there? I have a thing called a lightbox.
I do not know what brand it is. It’s unmarked and it was a gift. I do not know where it’s
from. But you can get these at art stores usually. It’s easier to find them online.
It’s just a thin little box, and you flip a switch and the light turns on. You can’t
really tell ’cause I have so many lights surrounding me right now It’s just a light. You put your
artwork on it and you can trace it. But not everyone has one of these. There’s actually
a simple solution to get around this. You can just take a plastic container, some kind
of storage container if you have one. You can even pick one up at the store for pretty
cheap. Then you need some kind of battery operated light. I’m thinking of those round
ones that you just push them to turn them on, or any kind of light that would fit into
the plastic container. You can get really creative. For example, I have this set of
drawers where I keep paper in. Just take the paper out, flip it upside down, put a light
underneath it. Bam, got your own lightbox. This one’s not that clear though. Some of
them are a little clearer. This one’s a bit tall. Okay, I can’t even shove it in the video
booth, it’s so big. This one’s a bit more clear but it is a bit taller. So you can even
just look for something around your house. If you have plastic drawers, just some kind
of large plastic storage container with a flat surface, you can turn it into a lightbox
by putting a lamp underneath it. So I have my sketchbook open so that there’s only one
sheet of paper so I can see through it easily. Then put my paper on top. I like to secure
it with a piece of tape. What I use is this Scotch Removable Magic Tape. The Removable
Tape is a lot better than regular tape because it’s not very sticky, and so you don’t risk
tearing your paper when you pull the tape off. I actually re-use my strips too. I actually
stick them to the underside of my desk so I can re-use them. So I’ll just stick this
down. Sometimes they have little bits of hair on them or something but hey, saves you a
bit of tape. Next you’re gonna want to shut off any lamps around you because it’s going
to prevent you from being able to see through the lightbox because the light coming underneath
will be competing with the light coming from above and they’ll cancel each other out and
you won’t be able to see anything. So, turn off my lamps, turn on my lightbox. You can
easily see through the paper and start inking. Now you have some choices. You can go directly
with your inking pen on top of it. Or what I do most of the time, especially if my sketch
is a little on the messier side, I actually take a pencil and trace neatly with pencil
onto the new paper. So there’s not gonna be any kind of sketchy type of movements here.
I’m just doing one clean line following everything that I’ve sketched down. Whether you’re doing
this with your ink or with your pencil, just do one simple line, no kind of thickness to
your line in any spots, just something simple. I’m not gonna do this whole thing ’cause that
will take forever. This is just an example. Okay, let’s just say that I lined the whole
thing in pencil, and I’m gonna turn my lights back on. Now that you have your beautifully
traced picture, you can remove your tape, stick it under your desk if you want to re-use
it. If you already used your ink, you can skip this next part, but if you did in pencil
like me, I then go back over with my ink. Again, it’s one simple line, if this pen wants
to work. There we go. I grabbed the wrong one. I grabbed the one that’s got a split
end. Hold on. There we go. See I just do one simple line across the whole thing, nothing
fancy. When you’re done it’s gonna look like this. If you used pencil underneath, you can
go ahead and erase the pencil. Be sure not to crinkle your paper because that is the
worst. So you have your inked picture. Okay, cool, but it’s not that great. There’s something
missing about it. If you compare these two pictures, which one looks better? I hope you’re
saying this one I guess it’s up to opinion but I’m sure most people would say this one
looks nicer and that’s because I varied the line width. The lines are thicker in some
spots, thinner in others, and yeah, I think it just adds more dimension and makes it look
better. So I’m actually gonna do a demo of how you get from this to this, but first I
just want to show you some other ways you can ink your drawing because you don’t have
to ink it so it looks like this. You can do other things with your inking as well. Again,
this is no matter what medium you’re using. I’m using multiliners as the example, but
if you want to use dip pens, you want to use a brush pen, whatever. This information applies
to everyone. So I like to think of this one as the thin lines. There are some areas where
it’s thicker, but overall the lines are pretty thin. You can do the exact same thing with
thicker lines, and it gives it a different look. It’s really up to you how you want to
go. I think I usually fall somewhere in between here. This is closer to what I usually do,
although it’s a bit thinner than this. Depending on how small or large your picture is, it
can affect how it looks. Like if you’re going a really small picture, the lines are gonna
look pretty thick. Whereas if it’s a larger picture, using the same pen, it’ll look like
you have thinner lines. So there’s that too. So it’s whatever you want to do. Then I have
another option where there are thin lines within the picture, and then it’s outlined
thicker. I usually do add somewhat of a thicker line to my pictures on the outside, but not
to this extreme. I don’t always do it, but I think it’s a nice way to make the character
pop. So there’s that. Another option is to leave gaps in your line art. I usually don’t
do this simply because I don’t think to do it, but I think it gives a really nice illustrative
style. So you can see here the line’s thicker, it tapers and then there’s a gap in the line.
There’s a gap here, gap here, gap there, pretty much anywhere where I think the light would
hit or where there’s a point, like a little apex, is where I just leave a gap. Where you
want to leave gaps is totally up to you, but I think it makes for a pretty interesting
style. Another option is to use a different color other than black. So this is the same
as the first one pretty much except I used a sepia liner instead of black. What’s nice
about this is it just makes the line less harsh, and once it’s colored in, if you want
to color it, you don’t see the lines as much. They disappear a little more, which can add
a really cool look to your picture. It’s really up to what kind of style you’re going for.
Do you want bold line art? Do you want something that’s a bit more subtle? So sepia is a really
popular choice when people aren’t using black. If you want, you can incorporate more colors
than just sepia. So here I outlined different parts of the face depending on what color
I’m gonna color it in. So I used sepia for the actual face. I used pink for the lips.
I used green for the hair if I’m gonna make her hair green. I’m assuming I’m gonna color
the bow blue so I outlined it in blue, and then just gray for this frilly thing because
I assumed it would be white. You can actually get more crazy than this. You can use as many
colors as you want. One person that comes to mind is the YouTuber Lemia Crescent. She
actually used these types of pens here and did rainbow line art. So I’ll link to that
video in the video description if you want to see it. So let’s say the hair’s gonna be
green, she would outline it in all the colors. There’d be some red, some yellow, some blue,
everything and it’s a pretty cool effect. So there’s that option as well. So I hope
this gives you guys some ideas of different styles you can go for. I’m gonna do a demo
on how to go from thin lines to weighted lines. So no line weight to line weight. Actually
there’s line weight in all of these, so it’s not like I’m showing you how to do one of
these. Really I’m showing you, what I’m teaching you applies to all of these. So let’s get
started with the demo. I just want to say that some tools actually allow you to vary
the line weight while you’re putting down your first layer of lines, like a brush pen
or the dips pens. The harder you press, the thicker the line gets. So you at this stage
might already have varying line weight, but I thought that demonstrating it this way will
help show you where to add the thickness. So I guess that is the one difference in techniques.
If you’re using those kinds of pens, you’re adding the line thickness of your first pass.
Whereas if you’re using a multiliner, you’re probably adding line thickeness on your second
pass. So I have two general rules I follow. One is the outer silhouette of the character
is going to be a little bit thicker. Also the undersides of objects are going to be
a little bit thicker. I’m thinking of it in terms of, assuming light sources are usually
above the character, then the underside would have a bit of shadow, and that’s where I’m
going to thicken the line. So I tend to start on the jawline, and I thicken the cheeks and
the chin. This is probably the one point where I don’t really follow my rule. Because my
general rule … Hold on, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me do a little diagram. My
general rule is if there is some kind of T intersection, it doesn’t have to be a 90 degree
angle, but if two lines meet, I thicken the area where they meet ’cause it’s most likely
two separate objects, and they cast shadows on each other. That’s just where shadows accumulate.
So I would thicken those areas. So keeping that in mind while you’re inking, they would
get thicker where they intersect, and then taper off as you get farther away from that
intersection. My other rule is, let’s say there’s some kind of apex, I would in general
assume that the light is hitting that apex, and leave that less thick. But sometimes I
do the opposite and make it more thick. So the jawline is one of those exceptions. The
reason I’ve done it this way is because back when I read a lot of Manga, that’s how it
was done. It makes sense under the chin for it to be thicker because you are seeing that
shadow under the jawline. So I think that’s why you have this reverse rule for the jaw.
It’s just that there’s a lot of shadow underneath there. You know how I mentioned in general
I make the silhouette thicker than the rest? I also tend to make the jaw a lot thicker
as well as the area where the hair meets the head. Everyone’s gonna have their own way
of doing it, but I’m just explaining the way I do it. I mean that’s all you can do with
art is everyone has their own way of doing everything, and no way is right or wrong.
It’s just I can only teach you what I know. I can’t really teach you how everyone does
it ’cause there’s probably an infinite number of ways to do everything. So as you can see
the line is thickest here and here, and then it gets a bit thinner in between. Then we
do the same thing on the other cheek. You’ll notice I rotate my paper a lot, and that’s
because I feel more comfortable doing vertical lines. I find it a lot harder to go side to
side with my lines, so I tend to rotate my paper so that I’m always drawing up and down.
Then after I do the jawline, I typically do the neck next. So as you can see there’s a
little T intersection here where the neck meets the chin. So I’m going to thicken the
line, and it gets a bit thinner towards the bottom of the neck. Same on this side. We’ll
thicken it a little bit, taper it off as you go down. There is another T intersection here.
You could thicken it there too, but I tend to not just because … I mean it does get
a little bit thicker once I go across. But it’s really weird. I have my little rules,
but I don’t necessarily follow them. I don’t think it through that much when I’m inking.
I just do it. You draw the way you draw, but yeah these are just kind of general rules
that I tend to follow but not always. So after I do the jawline, I do typically move to the
hair next. I don’t know why. This is just the way I do it for some reason. I’m getting
really thick where there’s this little bump of hair, thinning out as I come down. Oh look,
a T intersection. Let’s thicken this a little bit as well as this one. Another thing is
going back over the lines like this gives you a second chance to stabilize your lines.
So if you look right up here. This line and this line, they’re actually pretty squiggly.
You can see my hand wasn’t the most sturdy when I was inking that part of the drawing,
and that’s fine. You’re not going to be perfectly smooth. I think steadiness just comes with
time and practice, but you’re not always going to be 100 percent steady. Sometimes your lines
are going to be a little squiggly, and that’s why I like doing two passes. I have my first
pass with no line weight, and then I go back over it. I can fix things as well as making
it look better. Speaking of fixing things, sometimes I thicken a certain part of my line
art simply because I screwed up and I’m just trying to fix it. So maybe I’m trying to thicken
a line or with my original line I got a little off track, and so I thicken it just to try
to smooth it out and make the mistake not so noticeable. We all make mistakes. Especially
with a traditional medium like this, you can’t just hit the undo button or erase your ink
or anything, so what you put down is what you get. I mean if you were then bringing
it into Photoshop or something, you could fix it up, or use white ink. But if I’m gonna
be coloring this with markers after, I can’t put down any white ink ’cause then my markers
won’t absorb into the paper. So you just have to have a steady hand. I work pretty slow.
Like you’re seeing me real time here. This is how I ink. It’s a slow process. I mean,
some people might be fast. I think if you’re using a brush pen or something where you just
add the thickness as you go, it’s a lot faster than this. But I just don’t have the steady
hand for a brush pen, and as I mentioned, mine are a little wonky. So there we go. As
you can see, I thickened here, intersection between two hair strands. In general, my lines
are thicker on the underside of the hair than they are on the top of the hair. So let’s
go into this little mess here. Right here there’s two sections of hair that are coming
into each other like this. Therefore, there’s gonna be a lot of shadows. Look between my
fingers. You can see shadows in the cracks. So that’s kind of what we’re gonna be doing
here. Also these lines are a little squiggly too, so I’m gonna be smoothing them out as
I go. So thicker in the part of the hair, and then thinner as we get away. As I was
inking all these, which took forever by the way, I noticed that I sometimes did it differently.
So remember how I mentioned where there’s an apex, I tend to ink it a little bit lighter
because I’m assuming there’s some light coming from above and hitting that. But look at this
apex right underneath it. I actually made it a little bit thicker because I was picturing
two sections of hair coming on top of each other and one section of hair is casting a
bit of a shadow. So sometimes it’s a little bit thicker, the apex. Sometimes it’s thicker
not at an apex Like I said, I have my general rules but I don’t follow them 100 percent.
I think I’ll fast forward through the rest of the hair because it is pretty straightforward,
and then I’ll come back when I move on to the next section of the picture. Just another
note about the hair. One thing I sometimes do when I have a long straight section like
this is I thicken both ends and then I actually thicken a little bit in between here. ‘Cause
the hair kind of dips down, and I don’t want that little tiny squiggly line throughout
the whole strand. I want to give it some thickness at the base, and then it tapers, and then
I give it a bit of thickness in the middle as well. It just helps give that line a bit
more dimension and kind of implies that the hair is splitting slightly there. Then as
we come down to the bottom, I would then thicken it again. This is a prime example of where
I’m making a line thicker than I wanted to but it’s because I didn’t have a steady hand
and my lines were getting too scratchy and not smooth. So I just do my best to cover
up my mistakes. If someone was watching this in a speed painting video they probably wouldn’t
even know that that was a mistake. But I know it’s a mistake. I just to try make it like
it’s not one. Okay, so we’ve got the hair done. That was the bulk of it. For the actual
face, there’s not much to do. You don’t really need much for line weight on the eyes. I mean
there’s the eyelashes themselves, but I already inked those thicker because they just … It’s
not really line weight. That’s just me coloring in the object in a way. It’s kind of like
if I didn’t leave the eyebrows white here, if I just colored in when I was inking. But
since I didn’t color them in, I am gonna add some line weight to the eyebrows. I’m just
adding a bit of weight to the underside. I would try to give more weight to the inside
than to the outside just because the eyebrow itself is tapering, so I tend to taper off
the thickness of the line as well. We’ll do the same on this side. That’s it for the eyes.
For the nose I’m going to thicken the underside. My instinct is to turn the paper, but I feel
bad for you guys if the paper’s all twisted and upside down all the time. So the nose
itself is going to cast a shadow on the lips, so I’m gonna thicken the line on the underside
of the nose. Taper it off as we go up the nose. Then also this line could use a bit
of thickness at the bottom. There we go. I don’t really want to add any thickness to
this middle line. You can. If I was going to add thickness, it would be right in the
middle of it, but I don’t want that line to be too noticeable for the bridge of the nose,
so I’m just gonna leave it as it is. For the lips I tend to thicken this middle part here,
and then the middle here ’cause the upper lip would cast a shadow on the bottom lip.
It’s just a little bit thickest where the point is, and then the same thing down here
in the middle of the lip because that’s where puffiness of the lip casts a shadow. That’s
it for the face. We already got the neck. Then for the rest of her outfit, it’s pretty
much the same as we’ve doing this whole time. Actually I didn’t do her ear, so let me just
do that. I’m sorry if you can hear my chair squeaking occasionally. It’s gotten really
squeaky lately and I think I need to tighten some screws. Like that, can you hear that?
I’ll not to not move my butt too much, although we’re kind of getting to the end of the video
anyway, so hopefully I wasn’t wiggling around too much. So for ear, it’s thinnest where
the outside is, or I like to think of it as an apex even though it’s smooth. Then the
underside is the darkest part. So same things to apply to, say, this bow. Undersides are
gonna get darker lines, T intersections are gonna get a little thicker. Then I’m not gonna
add too much thickness to these lines here because it’s really just a detail that doesn’t
need to be emphasized. I want it to look like a nice smooth crinkly fabric. If I was going
to add line thickness, I would add it on this inner edge and taper it as I get outwards
because the neck’s coming in like this, the shoulder’s coming in like this, so the shadows
would be in the middle here. So that’s where I would add the thickest lines and taper it
off as I go out, but I don’t think I’m gonna do that. I am, however, gonna thicken the
bottom of this ribbon here. I usually do go over my lines everywhere but I just don’t
always thicken them a ton. Like you might think, oh why did you just thicken the top
of that? I wasn’t really trying to thicken it. I was just trying to make it a little
bit nicer. A little more bold. Once again, the silhouette is gonna be a little bit thicker
than the internal lines. So once again I’ll fast forward through this part because really
it’s all just the same technique over and over again. Then I’ll show you the finished
product. All right, so here’s the final picture with line weight. Then here we have a picture
without any line weight, and it doesn’t look as good. This has much more dimension and
life to it. So yeah, I hope this tutorial was helpful for you guys. If you have any
suggestions for other tutorials, leave a comment below, but please be specific. Don’t just
say anatomy. Specify a certain body part if you want something in particular. If you haven’t
subscribed already, please do. You’ll get notifications whenever I post a new video.
So yeah, thanks for watching and I’ll see you guys in my next video.

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