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Pennies don't have ridges.

By RyanWinn
276 Favourites

The Batcave. Batman The Return Pages 12-13.

This was the first thing I pulled out of the FedEx box from Canada. Having no idea this was even coming my way, my socks were sufficiently blown off. Having not slept for almost 24 hours, my mind melted.

Now sockless and mindless, I slept for ten hours then got up to face the beast.

The lighting! Dave is so garsh-dang awesome at lighting. You may love, hate, or feel completely indifferent to his work, but the one thing that is unarguable is the man's ability to light shapes properly.

While working on this page I came to some conclusions about Dave's work that I had never noticed. I had never really even wanted to ink Finch, although I had inked a ton of backgrounds and ghost inked pages of his at Marvel, but I had never really tried to break down his work which I like to do when inking a dude for more than one issue. Didn't think I'd need to.

When I break down an artist it has to do with figuring out their language. What are they trying to tell me. the audience, and the audience through me. What do they mean with certain types of rendering. What are the shapes he uses to define form. What were their inspirations, who are they suckin' and stealin' from.

I guess it can be stated here that I WAY over think everything. Most of my processes are not necessary for just inking a page. But I have to have a reason for every line I throw, aside from deadlines. I want to see what the penciler sees in the work, and what they envision as the final product.

How does David do it? I'll ink it the way he penciled it. What he describes, I'll define.

First define the shapes. This is not just doing contour lines or outlining shapes. Define. Just like we do verbally. This group of lines say "deltoids" while these slightly connected lines say "triceps". A juxtaposed group of lines says "bicep". Follow the logic down to the lines that define "hands" and "fingers". Now you have an arrangement of groups of lines that visually say "arm". Penciling describes, inking defines.

You want the reader to think "This IS une pipe.". You want them to forget they're looking at a drawing.

What struck me as funny was that when you just look at the shapes in a Finch piece, ignoring all the rendering, the lighting and shadows, what your left with is a drawing that looks VERY similar to an Art Adams drawing. The guys shape their forms and muscles in similar fashion. Adams being slightly more exaggerated. They both see everything broken down into the simplest of shapes.

The next thing you do after you forms and figures are done is move on to the rendering. Now when doing contours you keep light source in mind. Always thick on the shadowed side, thin on the light side. But the real effectiveness of Dave's lighting comes from the heavy core shadowing he does on the figures. Spiced up by his rendering out of said core shadows.

This was when I was funny struck again. He picks and chooses his shadows in the same way Adam Hughes does. Now the line work may look different, but they use the same ideas. It' the same approach done by different hands.

One I realized it was a mix of Art Adams, Adam Hughes, and a touch of Frazetta then inking Finch became easier. On the mind anyways. I had my approach laid out, it was up to me to nail the final strokes by hand.

The funnest part was the rocks in the cave. I came up with this really wet bouncy way to play with the nib and make fun droopy stalactites. Bear down on the nib away from you, lift slightly pull back towards you making a "j" shape(and opposing backwards "j" shapes). Do a chain of these and you have a row of rock. It was really fun.

It was cool to do some penciling on the page too. I couldn't make out was was going on where Damian's legs were so I just drew in his foot and his boot and part of a step. No one said anything though so it's okie-chobie!

The grating on the floor was pretty loose and was all side of the pencil. this is a call to action for the brush. This is WWSWD-What would Scott Williams do? Free hand brush, that's what he'd do, and it would be awesome. I tried. I did the first few rows in both directions starting on the left. They looked good for a while and I had a good rhythm. After a while though I started to get to the loosely penciled parts. Apparently reaching the same threshold Dave did while penciling. I started loosing confidence and had to switch to ruling out evenly spaced lines regardless of pencil, THEN I took the brush again and freehanded against the ruled lines, getting the desired effect, just not the way I wanted to do it.

The Batmobile took a lot of cleaning up, all the dashboard stuff was just loose scribbles, and some things on it i just didn't know what they were. When this happens it's totally up to the inker to make scribbles into things, otherwise you end up with an inky spaghetti mess. So I just made a bunch of dials and some exhaust pipes and we had a Batmobile.

There are plenty of mistakes on here too. There are a few in Batgirl's hair, the tires look a little crooked. Can you find all the white out? Blah, I don't want to point them all out.

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© 2011 - 2021 RyanWinn
anonymous's avatar
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RyanWinn's avatar
Thank you Francesco! Your work is inspiring!
Mykemanila's avatar
I thought Jim's Batcave with tons of Batmobile was ridiculous, but this one ate the whole thing. Gaaaahk!
Congratulation for the great inking job. Loved it!
nedeo's avatar
i need to several inkers. how do i advertise for them?
mira-mcgrath's avatar
henflay's avatar
lu2runko's avatar
Superawesome...instant fav's
Narcisticthinker's avatar
Great job is an understatement...
The-BenShaw's avatar
I love your posts, everytime you post something with work it's always a treat for me to read your description. Thank you so much for how in-depth you go when thinking about how to tackle something it's so incredibley helpful. I ink my own work and have been trying to get better control over crow quills and it feels just as in-depth as using brush. When I ink with brush it comes naturally to me but I can't get the sharpness out of it like quills, do you have any suggestions or should I just practice practice practice?
RyanWinn's avatar
Glad you make some use of my ramblings.

It depends on the type of brush you're using, and how you hold it. The brush can change shape so easily depending on how you hold it. Try holding it in different ways as see what effect it makes. I use like three or four different holds for various lines. And also practice, practice, practice!

Good luck!
The-BenShaw's avatar
I use winsor newton series 7 # 1 and 2 brushes. occasionally I'll use a raphael but I like my winsor newtons. looking at your work and a few other inkers that work over finch i keep analyzing and trying to hone my skills with quill and i think I've made a lot of progress in the past week, just didn't realize how much concentration it takes for that level of precision. thank you very much for your posts, and advice it helped a lot.
RyanWinn's avatar
Yes, the concentration for precision dilema. It can hurt the brain for a while, but like any muscle will toughen over time.

Being skilled with both nib and brush is key, and will pay off big time for you.
The-BenShaw's avatar
are there any special exercises that you do to keep you sharp? I have some that I do but I'm just curious to see if there are others that could be better.
RyanWinn's avatar
Are you talking pen on paper exercises or away from the desk exercises?
Rocketone's avatar
Really unbelieve!
RyanWinn's avatar
Rocketone's avatar
I believe! lol
Plugin848y's avatar
This is drop dead gorgeous!! Could I have a go at colouring this? Pretty please with a topping of your choice on top? :D
RyanWinn's avatar
I would let you but you asked TOO nicely. Yeah, take that.

Kidding, have at it, then post a link in the comments on my profile page.
Plugin848y's avatar
Awesome!! :D If there was an "explodes with excitement" smiley, I'd have used it! I can't wait to get started on this! :D Thanks SO much! :dance:
RyanWinn's avatar
Prepare to loose some soul in there!
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