I’m back working on my children’s book illustrations tonight. I’m focusing right now on inking the illustrations, and trying to find an approach that is going to be practical and achieve the results that I’m trying to get. The trickiest thing about inking the pieces is the kind of grip I have around the brush. It sounds really anal retentive, but I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about exactly what is the best grip to hold the brush. The balance is tough to strike because I want to be able to exert control over the line, but if I grip the brush too tightly the lines can end up looking stiff. There’s a certain amount of looseness that needs to be present in my grip that allows the lines to flow a little more. My tendency is to get nervous and hold the brush too tightly, so I’m trying to loosen myself up and give up a little more control in the process.
I’m trying to hold up a very high standard for the inking as well, as the lines can really make or break an illustration. For this reason, I’m finding myself redoing many of these illustrations; the one at the bottom of this post took eight attempts to get it right! The inking of the dollies is where I’m the most critical, the backgrounds are pretty easy to do. The simple, round forms of the dollies can be pretty challenging to articulate well.