Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Student Spotlight: Inking Comics

A kaleidoscopic two page spread from Kyle Rose's final Inking Comics project.

Inking is an essential skill for comic artists. We use variations in contrast to direct the readers' attention and guide them through the comic story. I can attest that this is a difficult medium to figure out on one's own, but not hard to learn competently if someone will explain it.

This spring, I was blessed with a particularly strong group of students for Inking Comics. By the end of the course, they weren't only inking effectively, they were offering solutions to tricky passages in each other's projects and discerning among professional inkers which ones were doing their job and which merely showboating with fancy techniques.

A page made of shots from within the classroom.

Kyle Rose has taken some of my classes more than once and swears by them. For me, it's a thrill watching him continually refine his skills and produce ever more impressive comics.

A figure study with a single light source by Howell Murray

Howell's ink and dry brush impression of the model dancing with death.

A page from Howell's comic project.

Howell Murray is, I think, new to the comics medium. He took to it like a duck to water, producing pages and images that are reliably expressive, entertaining, and clear.

Project pages from Felix Quinonez.

Felix Quinonez is another recurring student who just keeps getting better and better. Organizing all those details is a daunting challenge, but Felix is up to it. Together, Felix and Kyle edit a comic anthology, Emanata.

Britina's first version of her comic was really good...

...but look at it now!

Britina Cheng amazed us all when she took her already ambitious minicomic from fall's Cartooning Basics project and redrew the whole thing in an enlarged and expanded version, in time to sell out her first printing at a zine fair. With her kind of drive, Britina picks up skills at an accelerated pace.

Cartooning is ultimately a writer's medium. The best comics are, like Britina's, driven by strong writing. But it's the ink that draws the readers in to the story. The ink has to sell it.

Summer classes run Tuesdays beginning next week. Come get your hands dirty!

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