Inking Techniques/Suggestions?

  • Hi everyone!

    I don't know if this will end up being a portfolio piece (I think if the diver was a kid it'd be different), but I'm really starting to focus on pictures with more of a narrative in them recently. At the very least, what I'm going for in this drawing is highlighting the moment they lock eyes.


    So far I'm loving the direction is going, but I'm wondering a couple of things about texturing. I want to keep it strictly an ink drawing (no color), and I'm really rusty on any inking techniques. The sand and the octopus are my favorite parts of this so far, and I like the diver as well. My question is...what kinds of things would you do on the diver and the ocean behind them to convey texture and/or lighting? Is this piece looking good?


  • @lpetiti Well, you have stippling down! Are you open to brushwork, or do you want to keep it all line? If you used ink blooms or splatter for the water, it might be cool.

  • @RachelArmington part of the reason I was thinking of keeping it all line is I’m not sure the paper can handle a lot of paint or marker, but I’m still open to suggestions. Worst thing that could happen is it doesn’t work🙂

    And thanks for your compliment about the stippling! Normally I don’t have the patience, but I was proud of how it turned out

  • Here’s an updated version:


  • @lpetiti I only noticed now that your drawing is in a bound sketchbook. I was going to suggest tracing your design onto white card stock a few times and really diving (yes, referencing your character!) so that you could experiment different ways with line weight and crosshatching without feeling as if you would over-do your original drawing. At least sometimes, with me, I'll resist finishing a drawing because I don't want to "ruin" it.

    When I run book workshops for kids I go through a ton of card's not a perfect plate finish, but it holds up to the heavy coloring the kids tend to like. Sometimes I buy larger sizes than 8-1/2 x 11 at the copy shop.

  • @RachelArmington I love that idea! I was limited in what I could do with this book, so I like the idea of experimenting with it

  • @lpetiti Even though I hardly ever show my sketchbooks to anyone, I feel self conscious when a sketch goes wrong or I fill a few pages with what amounts to scribbles. If it has a hardcover, I want a perfect book!

  • @RachelArmington I agree! My boyfriend bought me this sketchbook and it’s a gorgeous leather journal with good paper. Talk about not wanting to mess it up😂

  • If it were me I'd put a piece of tracing paper over it and try different ways to put some shadows in. (hatch, cross hatch etc. ) As it is now, you don't have a light source. Once you decide that I think shadows and more mid to dark tones will make it more three dimensional. You might want to research other blk/wht illustrators that tackled underwater scenes to see what worked for them, it's not easy probably why I've never attempted it (tee,hee)

  • @lpetiti for underwater scenes it sometimes works to just fill a bit the space with small dots making like dwindling lines that look like tiny streams of air bubbles coming up from the ground. I don’t even know if this happens in reality, but it’s a classic haha.

  • @fmb that’s a great idea! I’m planning on doing a few more versions of this, and some other illustrations of underwater scenes, so I’m definitely going to practice these techniques. Thank you so much!

  • @lpetiti SVS has great inking classes!

  • @Mara-Price I forgot to look at those! I've been working through the fundamentals classes, but I'll add those to my list!

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