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Ep. 22, Page 15
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Comic 1641 - Ep. 22, Page 15

11th Jun 2014, 3:10 AM in Episode 22 :: Save My Place | Load My Place
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)

Author Notes:

smbhax 11th Jun 2014, 3:10 AM edit delete
Okay, so, yesterday I mentioned that I got out a bunch of pens to see which one I could ink a long S-curve with best, in preparation for trying to ink the sinuous pencil lines in that large drawing I'd done over the weekend. I'm gonna have to break this up into two parts because it's already pretty late here tonight : P, and this will be long. Anyway, to start, here's the lineup of pens and the main test results of me trying to ink a nice curving line with them—the pens are pointing at the line I inked with them (click the photo for a larger version):


About half of these pens are available in the States, and the other half you'd have to import from somewhere like jetpens.com (which is a great store, by the way, and their prices are also better on some of the stuff that's available domestically, like the Copic SPs): the five pens on the left were imported from Japan through Jetpens, and the second and third from the right, the dark-red "Rotring" pens, are of German manufacture, also obtained through jetpens.com; the rest you can get from somewhere local-ish like dickblick.com. Also, all except the School-G and the Pocket Color have waterproof ink, although that isn't important for this job.

From left to right, the pens are:
  • Kuretake Disposable Pocket Brush Pen, Medium
  • Tachikawa School-G, Fine
  • Copic Drawing Pen
  • Platinum Carbon Pen
  • Kuretake Disposable Pocket Brush Pen, Fine
  • Faber-Castell PITT Calligraphy Pen
  • Copic Multiliner BM
  • Copic Multiliner SP BS
  • Pentel Pocket Brush
  • Pentel Pocket Color
  • Rotring Tikky Graphic 0.3
  • Rotring Tikky Graphic 0.1
  • Copic Multiliner SP 0.03
Okay, so the first thing is that obviously I am bad at trying to ink a nice curving line. It is pretty embarrassing! But which pens helped me look the least awful? I covered some of these pens, along with others, a while back in my Supermassive Black Pen Round-Up, sort of a general review. Here, I'm only concerned with what's going to help me ink that darn pencil drawing shown in the previous blog entry. So:

Kuretake Disposable Pocket Brush Pen, Medium
Although it's the fattest of the Kuretake Disposable Pockets, it has a pretty hard point, so still works for fine lines. Not bad but it loses a lot of its blackness once you go over it with the eraser. In addition to the Medium and Fine, I also have a Very Fine that I used to use for some small drawing tasks, but its felt tip has fuzzed up—something which I have no doubt would also happen to the other Kuretakes if I used them more. To be fair, it has also happened to every felt-tip marker pen I have used, EXCEPT for the Rotring Tikky Graphics. This and the Fine don't draw bold straight lines very well: the tip squishes/dries and you get a thin double line instead of a single bold line.

Tachikawa School-G, Fine
I know of an illustrator who has gotten great results with this pen, but I am absolutely useless with it—it wasn't flowing for me well at all and everything I tried looked like chicken scratch.

Copic Drawing Pen
Metal nib like the School-G but I was at least able to get solid lines out of it. Still not really great at using this type of pen, it just feels too hard to move in all directions I guess; I also worry about the paper getting chewed up by the hard tip. Resisted the eraser pretty well.

Platinum Carbon Pen
The Carbon Pen has an ultrafine metal nib tip, and was super-scratchy when trying to do a thick curve. Not gonna work.

Kuretake Disposable Pocket Brush Pen, Fine
I had some trouble handling this one, I dunno if it was because the tip tapers so much that I couldn't see what I was doing, or what—oh well, the felt tip does have a bit of a styrofoam-on-chalkboard feel. Like the Medium, takes a lot of damage from the eraser.

Faber-Castell PITT Calligraphy Pen
Back when I was drawing A* with pens, I used the Calligraphy Pen for some of that work; I like the variable width lines you can get with the broad chisel tip; unfortunately, the corners of the tip wear down really quickly. Trying to draw a thick curve with just the corners was hard, too, and it tended to come out a rather angular. Faber-Castell's waterproof ink holds up pretty well under erasers.

Copic Multiliner BM
Too darn thick for this! These are fun pens for bold work, with decent ink flow at first, but the tip wears down fast.

Copic Multiliner SP BS
This was interesting. I hadn't used it much before this, because I'd done some tests previously with the non-SP, disposable small brush ("BS" : p) Copics, and didn't like the stiff feel of their tips. But here I finally noticed that the replaceable nib in the aluminum-bodied "SP" models has more of a slender, tapering shape, giving it greater flexibility, sensitivity, and brush-like feel. Pretty fun! Although, it took some getting used to, because the tip is actually so thin and flexible that, compared to other brush pens, you almost can't even feel it touching the paper. The ink in the Multiliners (and these SPs can be refilled) is pretty fast-drying, but the SP BS runs so wet (and that's how I like my pens) that I did get a bit of smearing now and then when I was using it for quick doodling. Unfortunately, the ink takes a pretty big hit when you run an eraser over it.

Pentel Pocket Brush
Although a bit expensive, these things are kind of fun to mess with, what with them having brush-like tips composed of separate plastic hairs, and pretty good automatic ink flow: easy to do big dark areas. Their tips don't hold up nearly as well as a real sable brush, mind you, and they don't have the snap of real sable, either, so even at their best they tend to be a bit mushy. Had some trouble holding a solid edge to the curve. The ink wears somewhat under the eraser.

Pentel Pocket Color
Slightly larger than the Pocket Brush, non-waterproof, and you sorta have to squeeze the barrel for ink flow sometimes; the flow was problematic for me here, and just turned my attempted curve into a mess.

Rotring Tikky Graphic 0.3
This has been my standby, and it's looking like I haven't found much that I'm better with. These things—this size in particular—have great ink flow, allowing you to lay down solid, unbroken lines very quickly. You don't get any real width variability out of their hard felt (or whatever) tips, but the tips also hold up extremely well, unlike all the other tips of this type that I've tried. Come with a huge ink reservoir, with a window so you can see how much is left. I still haven't come close to exhausting one. Their ink dries quickly and holds up well under the eraser. It's questionable how well I can hang in there to put a thick curve together with multiple strokes, impatient as I am, but my handling of this pen is probably better than the others, if only because I've used it more—well, plus they have nice long needle tips so you can see what you're doing.

Rotring Tikky Graphic 0.1
The smaller Tikky Graphics don't have nearly as nice an ink flow as the 0.3, and I was too impatient to be able to mold anything approaching a smooth curve out of it.

Copic Multiliner SP 0.03
The ultra-thin 0.03 runs pretty dry, and there was no way that I would have the patience or the dexterity to construct a thick line with it.


So from that first run, I chose some finalists: the Kuretake Fine, the Multiliner SP BS, and the Tikky 0.3—and I threw in an actual brush, my trusty Raphaël 8404 sable brush, loaded with Deleter 3 ink, for a final showdown. You can see this in the lower right of the test paper in the photo at the top of the article. I had some trouble with the brush, as my ink was kind of old and thick; I watered it down slightly, although I hate doing that, but even with that, I didn't manage a smoother curve with the brush than with the pens, plus you have the added mess, and the inability to do long quick thin lines. I continued to have some trouble handling the Kuratake—I'd thought I'd get used to it—it proved unable to do straight solid lines, and wore away under the eraser.

That left the Tikky 0.3 and the Multiliner SP BS; the BS wears down awfully under an eraser, but, rather surprisingly for a brush pen, it can do really bold, fast straight lines, which you see to the right of its test curve in the lower right corner. It also has a really light, brushy feel that is just fun to draw with, so I proceeded to populate the test sheet with SP BS doodles—notice the great, easy line width variability it has. Super fun! The Tikky can also do solid lines, but doesn't get any variability in width—although this makes it pretty good when you want a more consistent hatching pattern. The thin hatched lines in the lower left of the test sheet in the photo are from the Tikky 0.3; the thicker ones to the right and below those lines are from the SP BS.

Finally I would go on to do some sight drawings from the pencils with the Tikky 0.3 and the BS SP, to give them more of an actual shakedown for inking this piece. That—and doodles from both—will be covered in part 2, tomorrow. Wooo!


cattservant 11th Jun 2014, 7:44 AM edit delete reply
Good to see she's gainfully employed again.
smbhax 12th Jun 2014, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
Gotta earn the big bucks!
moizmad 11th Jun 2014, 10:42 AM edit delete reply
I think that guy is lying, he knows where she is! C'mon Selenis, shake him down!
smbhax 12th Jun 2014, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
She already has, he's just delaying ; )