A lot of people have asked me since I started posting more inkwork what tools I use, and I am SUPREMELY happy to spread the word, but I feel like it needs to come with a disclaimer on USAGE for the tools I'm promoting, and all that doesn't quite fit in a comment box, so I decided to cobble together a little journal to link to when it comes up.
There are people out there with feelings about paper. Frankly, I don't care as much. I care about the paper I PAINT on, but for inkwork, it's more about the brush for me. For the record, I generally use bristol board, which is common for comics, but right now I'm using Fabriano series 4 drafting paper, rough, cause that's what I can get in Rome!
I use a Windsor Newton, Series 7, Size 3 brush. Started out with a size 2, which is great for slick lines but I find if I want the full range of expressive lines, I need the chunkier, sexier size 3. This is the only tool I have heard praised by 3 different teachers as "the only tool that will actually make you a better artist." WN series 7 is the best brush out there, and sizes 2 and 3 are ideal for ink work because of the spring and point. The Kolinsky sable hair maintains a truly heavenly point, and even though there's a dud in every batch, the series 7 is the most consistently well-made brush. The thing about the series 7 is, it's really expensive. (If you're looking to save a few bucks, I've also heard good things about the Raphael designer sable hair brushes but I've never tried them myself.) HOWEVER IF you take good care of it, which is super easy, it's WAY worth shelling out.
Here is a really excellent basic tutorial: (It's the video on the right) www.cvcomics.com/artandstory/
That's the brush I use! Don't freak out when you go to buy one and see how big it is, thinking "but I'm a detail person!" It is actually 10X easier to make smaller marks with this brush than a smaller one because it HOLDS its point, which goes down to like a single hair. Also the bigger brush holds more ink so you won't have to fill as often which, as you see in the tutorial, is something of a process.
A little technique, a lot of this is mentioned in the tutorial, and this is all the stuff I do as well:
Notice how you can actually hear him making strokes in the video? That's cause his hand is resting on the paper. This is super important. Your anchor point (where you rest your weight,) should be at base of your palm or, if you are making big strokes, on your forearm. NOT YOUR FINGERS. Keeping weight on your hand will help free up the brush to make really clean marks, lifting your arm or putting pressure on your fingers results in woogly inconsistent and unmanageable lines. You can see in the video the way he makes the big marks made up of lots of little ones- I don't do that. I prefer the one-line aesthetic to sketchy style but that is personal. If you like sort of juicier, slicker lines, like me, that is when you would rest your weight on your forearm and do it in one big line!
Another thing that's super important is the DIRECTION. Always brush in an up-and-away-from-your-center direction. Plant your elbow on the table and swing your forearm- that is your natural stroke. Keep turning your paper so that you are always inking in that direction.
The last thing is, in terms of care, he's spot on in the video. If, however, you are a messier inker (like me,) and you get inky buildup, use a little brush soap on your fingers and pull it through the brush hairs, always downwards, super gently. Don't rub, just pull. Rinse well, and then lick it! That's not an eccentricity, it's actually really useful in terms of preserving your brush- keeps your brush trained in a crisp point instead of getting all feathery when it dries.
Okay I think that's it hopefully now when you try it you won't get scared off cause it looks like dooky, that totally happened to me the first time I tried brush but it was just cause I didn't know how!
Good luck and show me what you dooooooooo I wanna seeeeeeeeeeee!