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How To: Inking in Photoshop

How To: Inking in Photoshop

Dani Jones

To ink a drawing, I would choose between either Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. They are distinctly different in the way they work, so here is a breakdown:

Photoshop is pixel-based, and Illustrator is vector-based. This means Photoshop “paints” pixels, or tiny little dots on your screen; Illustrator, on the other hand, draws shapes and strokes using mathematical calculations.

In Photoshop, you have specify a resolution (how many pixels are crammed into your image) before you begin. The higher your resolution, the more you can enlarge your image without it looking pixelated. In Illustrator, it doesn’t matter because the drawing will stay the same no matter what size it is.

Photoshop works best for painting because you can get subtleties of color, value, and texture really well. Illustrator is best for solid, flat shapes and lines.

So, which piece of software do you use for inking? Both of them work pretty well. Photoshop works more like traditional media because of its painting nature, but with Illustrator you can resize the drawing without worrying about resolution. Experiment and find out what works best for you.

Inking in Photoshop 1. Open up a new document that is the size of your page. Make sure the resolution is very high (around 600 ppi or higher).

2. Place your sketch on its own layer. Lower the opacity to 50% or so.

3. Create a new layer on top of your sketch. This will be the layer you ink on.

4. Choose a brush that is hard-edged. The normal round brush actually works pretty well for this, but you can experiment with different brush shapes if you like.

5. In your brush settings, make sure that Shape Dynamics is turned ON, so that you get a calligraphic line while you draw. Make sure that Other Dynamics is turned OFF, so that your line will stay solid black, no matter how much pressure you put on your pen.

6. Ink your drawing just as you would normally. This can be a frustrating task to do with a tablet, but it can be done. It just takes practice and persistence.

7. When you are done, hide your sketch layer. You now have a finished ink drawing!

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