In this article we will address the subject of inking, we will give you tips so you can do it without fear. We will also give you a bonus! Giving you some exercises so you can practice and improve yourself day by day, find your style. Learn and ink without fear by doing this Continue reading!

Important: Avoid going to ink, as if you were tracing the drawing you have done in pencil.

Inking is an art in itself, to do it is to paint, it is to draw.

Inking is a key moment in the creation of your comic, or illustration, it is the moment when it will come to life. Therefore, it is the last stage of the assembly of your work.

For it to be a pleasant process, you should avoid tracing to the letter what you have drawn in pencil, as this will limit you.

Use the previously made pencil drawing as a guide. You will have to have creative freedom, and give yourself room to experiment, to make mistakes, to correct, to rethink something from scratch, etc.

When you ink something, you will notice a difference with what you have done in pencil.

Don’t get frustrated! Inking is another creative process. Correct without fear! Keeping this in mind will make you work more freely.

The main tools you will use to work with inking are the pen and the brush. Try to manipulate these tools in the most comfortable way you can, therefore, ink without fear by doing this:

dibujo: entinta sin miedo haciendo esto

The pencil gives us the outline of the page, but you know that it will undergo changes when switching to ink.

Both techniques work very differently, their lines are different, and so is their tone. The use of the tools is different, so, clearly, the inking will not be as it is in pencil.

Before I continue I will give you some exercises to free your hand and work freely in ink

  • Make many simple pencil drawings, a structural approach as you would do to continue in pencil (if you make a face draw the structure only). Then continue this drawing, in ink directly, and add all the details, eyes, nose, textures, hair, etc.

    It is probable that, in the first attempt, you will not have a good result, but, try several times, this way you will be having more handling, and you will be able to solve the problems that appear to you, since, everybody commits errors when inking, the secret, is that they are not lethal.
  • Make many drawings with direct ink. Start with an abstract figure and add details, shadows, textures, etc.

    Make a volumetric figure, directly from the ink, experiment freely! Complete the drawing step by step.

  • Work with Indian ink and white acrylic, or tempera of the same color. Use white to correct as well as to draw.
dibujar sin miedo, dibujo hecho a tinta

You can paint areas in black, and above draw with white. For example, if you make a piece of clothing with a printed motif, paint it all in black, and then add the motif in white, whether it is polka dots, flowers, stripes, etc.

If the white is too messy, correct its edges with black ink. Here you will have to combine round-tipped brushes (mainly).

Make a drawing on a gray (or colored) sheet. Then, use black and white again, to generate this illustration.

You will have to cover the whole sheet! the drawing should be in black and white only, with nothing of the sheet’s background showing through.

Remember this: Use white as another color!

The ink process limits all tones and colors to two: Black and White.

Solucionado entinta sin miedo haciendo esto, dibujar a tinta

This limitation opens up a wide range of possibilities. From the imprint you can give to the line (modulated curves, without modulation, organic, straight, without variation, etc.), to the juxtaposition of lines or shapes, to generate “grays”, superposition of black masses on white masses, and all the resources you can discover.

We can affirm that ink work is composed of combining lines and planes (or points, lines and planes, quoting Kandinsky).

The line is an expressive resource of great importance in ink work, in essence it is the basis of all work in this discipline. For this reason, you should analyze and experiment with the line, and exploit all its possibilities. Look for your personality!

Do a search, and check how your favorite authors work, copy them, and thus, you will understand how they work, and at the same time, try to combine your favorite styles, adapting them to your personality and preference.

Will you have a neat and careful line, a more expressive and loose one, a broken and fast one, etc.?

Will you combine lines of different values, will you use lines of the same value, will they be thin lines, thick lines?

Important tip: Experiment, play and have fun.

dibujo de spiderman entintado

A few exercises I suggest:

  • Make several squares, and fill them by making thin lines, one next to the other. Make vertical, diagonal, horizontal, curved lines, then try using slower strokes and faster ones.

  • Try making short curved lines. Find out how you are most comfortable holding the pen and brush. Also, how much ink you should load, how the pressure of the tool works, etc.

Make several squares in sequence. Choose one of the previous techniques, and repeat it with the intention of making a tonal scale. To generate it, draw 5 squares, the first one will be white and the last one black.

In the middle three, you should make a tonal scale that progresses from a light gray (continuing the white) and gradually darkens to black.

Do your best to make this tonal variation even. Try several scales by combining techniques. For example, by bringing the lines closer together to darken the area, thickening them without bringing them closer together, crossing them in different directions, etc.).

  • Try the line values, which are provided by the pen and brush. I recommend round brush and guillot pen.
plumas  para dibujar y entintar
  • Combine the tools. Make a drawing, with one element in the foreground, with a background not too far away, and the other one in the background.

The elements, which you have in the foreground, you will draw with a thicker stroke. You will make a thinner line for what is behind, and a thinner line for those farther away.

The plane is also a resource of great expression and importance in the cartoon.

Generate graduated tones

You can generate graduated tones without much contrast, others with high contrast, a variety of light and dark tones, etc.

Each of these styles will be presented in a different way to the reader. Research the plans of your favorite authors, classic and modern styles. Experiment with the various techniques.

I suggest other exercises:

  • Use the same drawing from the previous exercise, and turn it to high contrast. To do this, remove all the contour lines, and define the figures by the contrast between black and white.
  • Make a version without lines, but, generating a variety of tones with the previously practiced grids.
dibujo de entintado manual

Don’t copy the pencil work, expand your creativity, explore it.

Whatever your style is, work on inking as the final stage of your comic.

Don’t just copy the pencil work, it’s a new and different stage, open to creativity.

Explore and find your style. It is not black on white, it is the combination of both.


With the exercises we offered you during the article, you will be able to master the art of inking, so important in our drawings. Most importantly, have fun in the process, expand your creativity and experiment. It’s the only way to learn!

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