Marvel Knights: X-Men #1

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ink(ed by Joe Rivera) on bristol board, 11 × 17″.

This book debuted last Wednesday, but I took no reference for it and, hence, couldn't feature it for WRW. (I did, however, look up images of coffins on-line, further confusing Google's user profile of me.) You can see a preview of the book, written and drawn by Brahm Revel, at CBR. The story centers around a trio of X-Men investigating mutant murders in a small town.

inks by my Paw
blue-line print of pencils

pencils over digital sketch
digital sketch

digital layouts


  1. Loving all your work. Your tips and tutorials have helped me grow from sculpting to painting. I was wondering if I may trouble you for two problems I've been having: I like to ink by hand rather than on the computer before rendering art digitally and I have an issue trying to get my black and white ink to become all black ("inked by your dad to the final piece) I've done thresholds and it just makes my piece look pixelated, almost rough rather than smooth.

    my second issue is that when I watercolor over ink, the watercolors...'wash' over and stain the black ink. Which is another issue I am at a loss for.

    Keep up the marvelous work, big fan.


    1. Hi, Ali! The answer to your second question is easy: switch inks. Use a "waterproof" ink that won't be reactivated when in contact with water. I use Holbein Special Black ink, but Pelikan Drawing Ink A also works.

      As for getting black inks, I'm assuming you're talking about the digital end of things. I play with the levels first, getting just the look I want (I have a saved adjustment layer that usually does the trick). Then comes thresholds. The trick with that is making sure your scan is big enough. It will always be pixelated, but if your file is big enough, it won't matter. My inked files are 4125 x 6262 pixels.

    2. I tried this with a quick poster and scanning at 600dpi instead of 200 and playing with the levels helped me in the right direction where I want my stuff to go and I thank you dood.

  2. I just noticed that the small silhouetted figures are in the blue line print out, but not on the original pencils. Were those added in digitally? Were they originally intended to be a part of the composition?

    1. Sharp eyes, Ian! I also added the flashlights during that stage. My editor wanted a stronger indication of the premise, which was an investigation amidst mob justice. When I submitted the pencils, we decided those extra elements could help tell the story.


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Design out of the FlyBird's Box.