My inking cartoons experience

The first difficulty I encountered when I started drawing cartoons was inking: how to ink the pencil mark to fix the drawing?

My first drawings of humorous characters and cartoons were simply left in pencil, but then I felt the need to work like a professional, to see my cartoons as if they were printed.

Inking with markers

The marker was the first tool I used to ink my cartoons. I used the Staedtler or Pigma Micron markers of various sizes (0.05, 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 and 0.8), but then only Staedtler, because their black ink was better.

To clean the cartoons from the remaining pencil marks I used a bread gum, otherwise the eraser would have faded too much the ink.

Inking with brush

For six months only, around 1994, I used a Winsor & Newton brush to ink my cartoons. Inking with a brush was quite difficult for me, in fact after a few months I gave up.

Inking with pen nibs

For my first comic strips I used pen nibs and Indian ink, for the lettering too. Sometimes I combined them with the ecoline for the gray tones.

Every time I created a comic strip I used the pen nibs. And now I continue to use them also for the cartoons I have to color with Photoshop.

Back to the pen nibs

It was a real comeback to the pen nib: when I first used the nib and the Indian ink for the first time in my life, I was in first grade.

The Art Drawing Teachertold us that whoever wanted to, could try that technique, so I passed in stationery, before going to school, to buy a nib and two ink bottles of Pelikan, one white and one black. I was the only one in the classroom using the nib.

Maybe it was a sign, maybe it was written that my favorite tool for inking cartoons and comics should be the nib.

I like the scent of the Indian ink, I like to hear the sound of the nib rasping on the drawing paper. I’m an old-fashioned cartoonist and that’s okay.