So, we have the pencil art all scanned.

Now, the piece here has various stray lines, and W!n has left it up to the inker to choose the ‘correct’ line in a few places. We can either use the eraser brush to get rid of the excess, or we can take a shortcut and create a ‘blue line’ image.

Go to the ‘Image’ menu, and change the ‘Mode’ from Greyscale to CMYK. You’ll notice that the Channels pallet now reveals five channels: CMYK, C, M, Y, K.

Use the ‘shift’ key to highlight the M and the Y channels simultaneously. Only those two, nothing else.

Go to the ‘Select’ menu, and select ‘All’

Then press ‘Delete’ on your keyboard.

The Magenta and Yellow channels are gone, and you’re left with a cyan only ‘blue line’ image, like this:

Atom blue line

Adjust the brightness/contrast to make the image as light as possible (it’s trial and error). Then print out the result on your chosen paper.

The new sheet of paper, suitable for inking, now has a light blue/cyan image. The cyan image, if scanned, will be all-but invisible to your scanner. So there’s no need to erase any stray lines — you can just ink what you want, and the pencil lines won’t show up on the final scan.

Pick up your chosen inking tool. I use a Windsor and Newton brush, size 2, for inking all the outlines and solid blacks. I’ll then go back in with a dip pen — or occasionally, a felt tip pen — to do the detail work: faces, fingers, etc.

Here’s a look at the piece partially inked:

Paritally inked

Using a brush allows me to easily vary the line weights, giving a nice thick/thin effect. You want to have a slightly thicker line on the underside of forms, to give an indication of light source, and add ‘weight’ to the figures. You can also create ‘depth’ by making lines further away from the ‘camera’ thinner than those closer in.

In the next post, I’ll cover the final stages to complete the cover image.

Atom, Solomon Grundy ©2007 DC Comics