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How To: Digitally Ink by rheall How To: Digitally Ink by rheall
EDIT: I should also mention that this tutorial is for people who already know how to use Photoshop, as I will not be explaining anything that has to do with layers or how to use the program itself. It should be fairly easy though; you just need to know where the brush/eraser tools are, and how to use layers. That's it!

Well, here you are! A tutorial on how I do my inking with some useful tips, tricks, and a small walkthrough.

Just click the "Download" button to view it.

It is a .gif image, 500kb in size, and the resolution is 750 x 6000 px. So please be patient while loading, though I hope it's worth it!

If you have any more questions that aren't answered in the tutorial, please don't hesitate to ask; I shall do my best to explain!

I also apologize in advance for any typos or grammatical errors! I hope you can see past them. =D

Please let me know what you think, whether it was helpful, and whether you made anything with this! I'd love to see what you have come up with, and how you've improved! :hug:

Comments would be more appreciated than faves! Though faves are okay too if you really want to leave them...

Made in Photoshop CS.
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:iconwolvenlied1989:
wolvenlied1989 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the tutorial. I found it really useful. 
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:iconmarikuroo:
Marikuroo Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for this piece of advice, I was inking using my wrist because my tablet is small. 
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:iconhalloweensketch:
HalloweenSketch Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2017  Student General Artist
Thanks so much, this has helped a LOT <3
All this time I was inking with my wrist... ^^"
At least I'll know how to improve now
I'm inking a drawing right now and I'm sooo impatient but I'm getting through it!
Thanks again~! ^^
Reply
:icona-round-toit:
A-Round-Toit Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is good advice for me :)
Reply
:iconxxhamadehxx:
XxHAMADEHxX Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2015
Thanks. Problem is I cant really ink with my arm =\ I keep missing the parts. I can almost sketch though =D
Reply
:iconrenneka:
renneka Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thank you so much for this!
It helped SO much c:
I suck at inking drawings!
Reply
:iconhicckups:
hicckups Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Your tutorial was so helpful for me to learn how to ink better. Thanks! =):D (Big Grin) 
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:iconratketcher:
ratketcher Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014  Hobbyist
Great tutorial. Most people seem to do this with the pen tool, but that's just too mechanical for me. 
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:iconlillmissthang:
Lillmissthang Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014
That was awesome! I usually ink with the pen but it takes forver, so I wanted to learn how to do it by hand. Definitely faster. The tips on line thickness also helped cause I always wondered how to know whether a line should be thick or thin. Thank you so much!
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:icontharsei:
tharsei Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2013  Student General Artist
Thanks a lot for this; I didn't like the ones with the pen tool because I know I would mess that up so much. ^^; Thanks once again. :aww:
Reply
:iconkenzija:
kenzija Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I get it, but how do you ink with your arm?! All tutorials say that, but I don't get that! Using my arm makes that lines even squiggly-er. Can you plz tell me how I'm supposed to do that or give me a video or something? :(
Reply
:iconrheall:
rheall Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013  Professional General Artist
It just means to try inking with broad strokes when the picture calls for it. Use your whole arm as opposed to just your wrists. It takes a hell of a lot of practice, but it does work with longer lines. Also if you have a larger tablet; the small, 4"x6" tablets make inking with your arm a bit redundant. ;)

Just try it out for fun: keep your wrist stiff, and move your arm at your elbow and shoulders instead. Just get a feel for it. Also keep in mind that some people's techniques don't work for everyone; this is simply one that helped me out a lot. :) Just keep practicing and playing around and eventually you'll find some techniques that work well for you! (I think the most important thing to getting smooth lines is working zoomed in as opposed to any fancy hand/arm work. Try that out, too?)

Another tip: If you can, play around with the sensitivity settings on your tablet. For me, I keep the sensitivity pretty "firm". That is, I have to press rather hard to get a thicker line. Some tablets default to being very sensitive, meaning you only have to use a small amount of pressure to get a thick line. I've found that using the "firm" setting helped to smooth out my lines a bit, because I didn't have the dexterity to be so subtle with my pressure. :) Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions!
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:iconkenzija:
kenzija Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this makes more sense,thank you. I'll work on it best I can. And with the sensitivity, what do you mean by "firm"? Do you turn the sensitivity level up or down?
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:iconrheall:
rheall Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Professional General Artist
I think with "firm" you turn the sensitivity level down a bit; so you have to press harder to get a thicker line. Sorry, I call it "firm" because my tablet has three preset buttons at the top that say "soft", "medium" and "firm" which makes it easy. :) But yeah, do play around with the sensitivity settings for your tablet; for the Wacom tablets I know there are some wizards you can run where you draw inside a box and it attempts to automatically sets the sensitivity level for you. Play around with them, see what works best for you! It's usually very easy to set it back at default settings so don't be afraid to play around.
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:iconkenzija:
kenzija Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thanks so much =D
Reply
:icontotalrandomusername:
totalrandomusername Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Finally a tutorial n how to ink WITHOUT the pen tool! You are ny savior! :love:
Reply
:iconrheall:
rheall Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2012  Professional General Artist
:giggle: Glad it was helpful! :D
Reply
:iconawesomesaucexp:
awesomesaucexp Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for this. Zooming in and doing a lot of tweaking has really made things a lot sharper. I hate wobbly lines, and I'm very used to using traditional pens. It's just so much easier to color on the tablet, that I feel I should learn digital inks too. Thanks for the tips! No more ruined sketch pages! :D
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:iconrheall:
rheall Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Professional General Artist
Aww, great, I'm so glad my tutorial was helpful for you! Keep up the good work. :D
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:iconawesomesaucexp:
awesomesaucexp Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks, I will :D
Reply
:iconmarc-f-huizinga:
Marc-F-Huizinga Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I have a quick question:

I'm using a wacom bamboo tablet, and I have to support it with my lap (can't place it on anything flat right now). Because of this I am not really able to use my whole arm for the lines, resulting in all my lines being wonky.

Am I doomed now? Or is there a logical solution for this?
Reply
:iconrheall:
rheall Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2012  Professional General Artist
It depends on how large your tablet is. Some of the smaller tablets, especially the bamboo tablets, have such a small area of resolution due to their size that you'll often get wiggly lines if you work on things zoomed out. And also, if they're small, it wouldn't make sense to use your arm when your wrist could cover the same area with better accuracy.

To combat that if you've got a small tablet, I'd recommend working zoomed in at 200% or more. There's less of a chance of your lines getting all wonky and wiggly that way. :)

If it's simply the matter of your tablet being in your lap that's the problem and not its size, then I'm not sure how to help, except the reiterate the above advice of working zoomed in. I usually use mine in my lap as well and don't have issues with using my arms for long, smooth lines, but it's really hard to tell when I can't see your setup. :)

Obviously the most important thing is finding out what works for you, just keep trying different things and positions and you'll find a way to work that compliments your setup and equipment. Let me know if you have any other questions!
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:iconsaucybanjo:
SaucyBanjo Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2012
Thank you so much! I found this tutorial very helpful!!
Reply
:iconnorwen-eolan:
Norwen-Eolan Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Your tip on thick/thin lines is really useful, I was looking for something like this for some time now. Thanks!
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:iconmohdbaharim:
mohdbaharim Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2011
i thought i was a slow inker, but now i know that i'm using a correct technique...
same like you, i also zoom many times and hate wobbly lines where i will try to fix them where possible...

when i was first used the tablet, i thought the inking process will be a lot faster than the traditional way of doing it - with brush - now i know that i'm wrong..patience is still needed even with a tablet and photoshop. it's just another tool of inking..

thanks for the tutorial
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:iconyour-friend-sushi:
Your-friend-Sushi Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2011
Whooo~ Thanks. This was very easy to understand and follow along with. I like that you put the wrist and arm examples too ^ ^ now if only I could get my tablet to stop spazzing out 3X :sushi:
Reply
:iconrheall:
rheall Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2011  Professional General Artist
Oh yay, I'm so glad you found this useful! Be sure to come back and show me your results when you get a chance to try it, I'd love to see. :)
Reply
:iconyour-friend-sushi:
Your-friend-Sushi Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2011
[link] tada~ lolz :sushi:
Reply
:iconbloodtalonhero:
BloodTalonHero Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2011
Very nice!
Reply
:iconrheall:
rheall Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconselunca:
selunca Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This was extremely helpful. Thank you!
Reply
:iconshimmering-elf-rawr:
Shimmering-Elf-Rawr Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
DOOD. SCHWEET.
Reply
:iconrheall:
rheall Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2011  Professional General Artist
:giggle: Glad you like!
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:iconpuregreywolf:
PureGreyWolf Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011
Wow this really helped! :hug: I used it inking and my art looked ten times better! And it is one of the first good tutorials that I've found that don't use a pen tool (I dislike the pen tool for inking) It is just an awesome tutorial! :D
Reply
:iconrheall:
rheall Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2011  Professional General Artist
One of the reasons I made this tutorial was because it was so hard to find inking tutorials that didn't use the pen tool, like you said. :) I'm so glad it was useful for you! Let me know when you upload something new, I'd love to see how you've improved! :D
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:iconpuregreywolf:
PureGreyWolf Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2011
I will I'm using it one most of my newer pieces but I'm trying to perfect that method! Seriously this is the ONLY one that worked and in my opinion the best out there! :wow:
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:iconswevenzre:
Swevenzre Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ooooo, very useful tutorial! I love your comments in it xD
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:iconzethsaire:
Zethsaire Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! I am dissatisfied with how I ink, and even though I know a lot of the things you covered, I don't actually put them into practice for whatever reason. Thanks for reminding me that yes, I do need to do all those things. XD
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:iconmystegun:
mystegun Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2010  Hobbyist
wow this is really useful :)
i have a question...what type of tablet did you use?
Reply
:iconrheall:
rheall Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2010  Professional General Artist
I use a rather ancient 12x12 Wacom Intuos 2 that I got when I was 14. :) It's not as flashy as the new ones, but it's very sturdy and works like a charm. You can see it here: [link]

Glad you found the tutorial useful! I hope to update it someday, make it a little clearer. Good luck!
Reply
:iconusagitsukim0ri:
UsagiTsukiM0ri Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You know what could ink MUCH more easier?

Easy Paint Tool SAI. Even with a mouse. :3 This is quite helpful for Photoshop artists though. 8D

Really awesome<3 That dog is so cute. ;n;<3
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:iconksnands:
KsNandS Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
YOU ARE A SAVIOR! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS! :iconfurryglompplz:
Reply
:iconrheall:
rheall Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2010  Professional General Artist
Eep! Glad it helped you out! :cuddle:
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:iconsanity-city:
sanity-city Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2009
hmm when i zoom onto the sketch and outline it, it makes it look blurry and unclean from the "fit on screen". not clean and nice. im on the not fuzzy brush, and the size of the brush is 1. so its small..
D:
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:iconrheall:
rheall Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2009  Professional General Artist
That's photoshop's compression at work. The reason it looks jagged is because you're not zoomed in at 100%, or in any 25% increments. To make it look smooth, just zoom to "actual size", or zoom to an increment of 25% (eg. 25%, 50%, 75%, etc). That should fix the blurry/jagged line thing. =)

If I'm answering the wrong question, I apologize! Let me know how it works out!
Reply
:iconmirta08:
mirta08 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
This is very helpful, thanks for posting it!
Reply
:iconanna-kitsune:
Anna-Kitsune Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you, you just saved my life... I cant ink my stuff digitally to save my life this will help so much
Reply
:iconfloeur:
Floeur Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm very deseparated. I looked for all the tutorials I could find, and I just can't do beautiful lines while inking. I tried ink pen and the brush on Gimp. Take a look: [link]


Can you find the problem?

Thanks!
Reply
:iconequine-piccolo:
Equine-Piccolo Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2008  Student General Artist
Very useful tut, especially when your version of PS doesnt have a pen tool... I just cant master the arm control >.<
Reply
:iconrheall:
rheall Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2008  Professional General Artist
Heehee! Yes, it does take a lot of practice and patience. Well worth the effort though, I think.

Thanks for your comment, I'm glad you found it interesting. =D
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March 17, 2007
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