Inkin’ it Old School

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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Here’s what kind of nerd I am; when I read about some of the pen nibs that were favored by long-dead cartoonists like Al Capp, I’ll hop online and order them from another country just to try them out. This here was scratched out by a Gillott 290 nib, and it’ll take some getting used to! Unlike some of the other nibs that came with the “Cartoonist Kit” from my local art supply store, these nibs are small, delicate and finicky, and you can’t really cheat them in more than one direction. What’s fun about them, though, is that the line is incredibly variable. Not only can you use pressure to give your lines character and weight, you can build up trickier lines by layering light, thin strokes into one thick stroke. I’ve actually seen video of Al Hirschfeld, master of line art caricature, building his seemingly smooth strokes in this manner.

 

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