Step Seven: Inks (cont.)

Backgrounds
Once I finish the characters, I clean up my nib pen, put away the ink and take out the rulers and technical pens again.

Background Inks

When tackling backgrounds, especially urban environments with a lot of straight lines, it’s very important to have varied line weights. I tend to put thicker lines around the edges of objects and use finer lines for the interior details. I don’t use a ruler for every single line. I often pick an axis to do by hand. This gives an organic feel to the drawing, and keeps it from looking too stiff.

Note that on the bottom panel the horizontal lines across the street aren’t straight. Roads have a rise in the middle and a dip at the curbs.

With my reference material handy, I start by filling in the main lines and work my way in. This page took quite awhile because of the amount of detail squeezed into it. One trick I use when dealing with a page like this is by starting with the simple panels and working my way to the more detailed ones. That way it feels like I’m making quicker progress.

Then, once it’s finished, I take out my trusty block eraser and obliterate all trace of the pencils.

NextStep Seven