Funny & profane guide to digital inking

On DeviantArt, Mayekoposted an indispensable and profane guide to digital inking called "Lie, cheat, steal your way to better art." The tl;dr is: work at very high rez (then shrink), and use texture brushes set to 100%. But the commentary is hilarious and convincing -- go read it.

LIE-CHEAT-STEAL LIKE A FISH by *Mayeko on deviantART (via Making Light)


  1. I saw this on Making Light this morning and spent ten minutes trying to work out which one was the “better” one. Eventually I learned that the one with the mouth shaped like a graffiti penis was the good one. Or possibly the bad one, I forget. The other one was just wrong, or possibly perfect. 

    I had another look just now and my RK-destabilized eyes are so much better in the PM that I can see the menu box says “chalk”, not as I thought this morning “chak”. However, I still can’t tell which is the “better” one.  What’s the secret? Or is it a funy joak and really, neither is any good? Or, both are great?

    1. The one drawn with chalk looks better at huge size, but when both are shrunk down, they look almost identical. She’s making two points: textured brushes are better, and all line art improves when you shrink it down.

  2. Ok, let me be upfront and call al those rules very personal. I break them all. Hard round rules (though use it flattened a bit). Also, you (well, I) really need to work at a reasonable size and resolution for your gestures to come out nice, lest you lose your handwriting in micromanagement (and inking is all about handwriting). And textured brushes are (for inking) a big, biiiiig nono!

    I also break the “I hate inking’ rule. Maybe that’s the biggest difference ; ). Also, don’t mouse it! If you need to mouse your lines you’re better off inking IRL and scanning that, really. 

    Breaking all those rules leads to stuff like (that tag is all digitally inked). But i probably take this rant way too seriously and am missing the finer points of humor here.

  3. The entire copy is set in caps. I can’t take a lesson from some one that’s yelling at me, and that doesn’t understand that all caps is hard to read. 

  4. I just scan the original lines into photoshop and paint in a layer underneath. much easier lemme tell ya. I probably DO need to use textured brushes though. If anybody is interested in getting some tips from a real pro go to Tom Richmond’s (Mad magazine cartoonist) site, he has lots of tutorials that are helpful.

  5. I hate to be negative, but this is not particularly good ink work. I supposed he/she rushed for the sake of making a point, but these lines are sloppy and lifeless. I supposed the chalk brush is acceptable if the final product is meant to retain a slightly rough feel, but I personally would only use it for very soft, sketchy or painterly work. If the intention is a nice, clean outline, Illustrator (or any vector based program) is the way to go.

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