INKTOBER 2017 inking contest

Just for the hell of it, last you I did an inktober inking contest…people liked it. So, what the hell, let’s do it again.

I picked out some Arsenic Lullaby illustrations of varying degrees of difficulty and each with different challenges. You can play to your strong suits or try something out of your normal skill set.  I used a brush for every line on these (except boarders) but you can use whatever means you like as long as it is not digital. I use standard smooth surface bristol board that you can get at pretty much any art supply store or Michaels.  There are plenty of places online that sell paper for drawing comic book pages…the think you want to avoid is pages with a lot of texture or paper that’s going to bleed a lot.

I use this…it’s good and pretty cheap, but other people like different kinds (shrug), as long as it’s not going to bleed, it doesn’t matter a whole lot.


Grand prize winner will get…
a genuine Windsor Newton Series 7 brush, just like the pros use!

AND a page of original art ( uhm…I’ll find something and post it later).  2 runners up will also get autographed Arsenic Lullaby comic books. All contestants will get a 10.00 off gift certificate to our online store.

A “contestant” is defined as someone putting an honest effort into it and completing a whole illustration ( Don’t think your going to just run a sharpie over it for five minutes and get 10.00 off at our store.) you don’t have to be great, but you do have to try.

Below are some modified versions of recent work that you can download and print out and ink yourself! Each has been dialed back to non-photo blue so you can attempt to ink over the pre drawn lines just like the pros do! ( the single images fit on a standard letter size, the full page is larger and you’ll need 11×14 or 11×17 paper.  If you have the means to enlarge  or reduce the images, feel free to do so)

IF you don’t have the means of printing these out but still want to try, send me an email and we can arrange it for me to send you the image on bristol board ( no charge for that but I ain’t paying shipping )

Deadline Nov.1st

send entries to douglaspasz -at-

approach this however you like, but the job of the professional inker it not to wildly change the image when inking by adding his own style.  The inks should more or less look like the style they were drawn it.  You don’t have to do it that way, but you probably won’t win if you put your own spin on it.  but hey, we’re just doing this for fun anyhow, so just have fun.

I have an inking video up on youtube VIDEO HERE it is about using a brush, but the techniques can be applied to pens as well.  I may put up another video mid month.



Arsenic Lullaby “the big stall” Alice cover

I’d call this one the easiest of the bunch. It is complicated BUT cluttered.  Any mistake you make will be hidden by the shear amount of detail for the eye to take in…there is simply too much going on for a stray line here or there to be noticed.  Also it’s mostly all organic objects.  No hard straight lines, no machinery or walls, any hiccup in a line will just seem like it’s supposed to be there…I mean who’s going to know if you didn’t nail it on the tree bark, right?  This is a great one to practice long lines with.  Doing those lines in the tree bark will get you comfortable making long thin lines without having the stress of making sure they are dead on.

Varying the line thickness is the key to keeping this one from becoming a visual mess. Keep the details thin and the lines defining the objects thicker.



Arsenic Lullaby “the Devil’s only Friend” Voodoo Joe cover

This one’s a little more difficult because it has less organic subject matter. the lines on the walls the furniture…if those aren’t straight, people will know that’s a mistake.  But, there is still a lot of action here so the readers eye will still be focused on that and unless it’s a giant f-up most readers won’t notice.

You have a lot of lines here that are going to be best handled by just shutting off your brain.  Just watch where your brush or pens is going, not where it is at.  smooth strokes, don’t hesitate.  I personally make more mistakes by going too slow than by going too fast. Just relax and put the lines down before you brain starts to tell you it’s impossible.




Arsenic Lullaby full page

This one runs the gambit, and it’s going to test your constancy and ability to get all the panels working together…while still conveying the different moods of the page and affect on the reader.

When I’m doing a page (this may or may not be great advice) I jump around, do all of one kind of line (like short curves) then all of another kind. Attack the page as a whole and not panel by panel. Just keep plugging away doing the lines you are comfortable with.  Build that confidence as you go. By the time you get to the difficult things you’ll have a lot done and a good head of stream going.

This is complicated, BUT there is a lot for the eye to take in.  Minor mistake aren’t going to be very noticable.




Boogie Man cover of The Devil’s Decade-


This one is harder than it looks. Technically speaking, it’s the hardest of the bunch in my opinion. There are a lot of different kinds of lines and the wallpaper takes nerves of steel.  Also there is a lot of white in between some of the tougher lines, so your mistakes won’t be lost among a glut of detail like the Alice cover…no place to run and no place to hide on this one.The look on the kids face, the posture of the Boogie man…those are the keys. That is the visual bullseye of where the readers eye will be focused. If you can nail those, you’ll be well on your way.



When Douglas is not complaining, he and his work can be found here


Bookmark the permalink.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Archives