When creating comics, few artists stop at the pencil stage – most then pull out the inks for a more dynamic black and white look. Here artist Douglas Sirois takes you step-by-step through how to turn out a piece with a pencil-drawn look. The techniques you’ll learn will get results whether you’ve drawn the original piece in Painter or Photoshop, or scanned in a page of your own comic art, hand-drawn with a 2B pencil.

Discover how to combine different line thicknesses to suggest depth, use cross-hatching to add texture and consolidate it with fine detailing to bring some finesse.   

This tutorial follows up Douglas’ guide to pencil effects in Painter -- but even if you haven’t attempted that, you can follow this new guide using the sketch found in our Download Zone.

Step 1 Start by taking the finished pencil layer (from our Autumn issue or the Download Zone) and lowering the opacity to 25%. Create a new layer just for inking. A good place to start inking is by filling in all the solid black areas of your page. To do this, choose the Reed Pen variant under the Pen and Ink category. Fill in wherever you have solid black areas in your page.