Monday, May 17, 2010

How NOT To Spill Your Ink!

I'm sure many of you out there already know this trick, but for those who don't, here goes. I recently signed up for another cartooning class taught by Mat Brown (Cartoonist Survey #2) and we are being forced, yes forced to ink with a brush and a dip pen. I have been using Microns and Pitt pens forever so this will not be easy. One thing I noticed is how my elbow, hand and anything else within 6 inches of the bottle of ink constantly make contact with it and are eventually going to knock it over and ruin my day. A couple weeks ago at the suggestion of Bill White (Cartoonist Survey #1) I purchased the Ken Muse book, 'The Secrets of Professional Cartooning'. In it he shows this easy and cheap way to keep your trusty bottle of ink from tipping over. Just take a piece of bristol and trace around the ink bottle's base. Then use an X-acto knife (parental supervision required) and slice straight lines from the center out. Place it down over the top of the your bottle and you're done. Another added bonus is that it gives you a couple of inches all around it to allow for drips ("That's what she said." - Michael Scott)

Thanks to Paula at Small & Big for recommending I do this post.


David said...

Knocking over ink is clever. But my method might top it. I like to bring my canvas bag of materials with me when on the road.

How those pressurized plane cabins can squeeze ink from the bottle to the sketchbook, the bag and oh yes, through the bag onto the rug in the plane. gggrrrr

P.L. Frederick said...

And it looks so nifty around the bottle too. All modern-art, like a crazy geometric sunflower.

P.L. Frederick (Small & Big)

P.L. Frederick said...

Heh, heh! Blogger's "word verification" I had to type in was "anial." One of the more hilarious fake words I've seen. When people comment on David Wasting Paper, they never know what they'll get. Hee hee!

P.L. Frederick (Small & Big)

Brian Fies said...

I keep my ink bottle in one of those clay pot saucers. Works great, it's saved my bacon a couple of times. Spilling India ink on carpet is one of those mistakes you only make once.

SNeelyArt said...

India Ink? People still use that??? It's the digital age for Christ's sake! I haven't used nibs or a brush dipped in ink in like... hmmm, 12 years now I think. I use the Microns and Pitt Brushes if it has to be done by hand. For most licensing work, it must be digital since the line quality quite is better.

Michael Fraley said...

My own tip for not knocking over the bottle? Take the eyedropper and put the ink in a small watercolor palette which has shallow compartments or wells. That way, at worst, you're spilling just a few drops. You can dip your brush in it, or you can "paint" the ink onto your pen with an older brush. Easy. To me, NOTHING is as good or as satisfying to work with as brush/pen and ink. Speed, convenience, and the demands of the work may dictate other tools, but wow, it's just addictive.