Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Learning to Ink with Crow Quill Pens

Falling in love with John J. Boulet’s work inspired me to make my own web comic. To set it apart stylistically, I decided I’d ink it with a crow quill pen (the best way to get a variety of line widths) and color it with watercolor. But how to start?

First, I researched what the pros do. The old Famous Artists Course said to use a Gillott 170 and 290 nibs so I bought those first. Then I discovered a recommendation from Dave Sim’s book Cerebus Guide to Self Publishing”. In it he explains in detail how to use a crow quill pen and specifically that a Hunt 102 nib was used for Cerebus. So I bought that, too!

Second, after buying the nibs (and the appropriate pen handles and waterproof ink), I downloaded practice exercises for the pen found from an Internet search. From what I’ve learned, using a crow quill pen is like anything else…a matter of practice.

Surprisingly, drawing all of these lines with the three different nibs isn’t monotonous. I enjoy the sensation of drawing with it and look forward to using these wonderful tools to enhance and set apart my comics.

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