Comics - Inking/Colouring over Professional Pencils?
I have not been around here in a while, however it does not mean that I havn't been doing anything :) My ventures have led me to really start appreciating comic book artwork and it has been crossing my mind in regard to showing ink or colour work over professional pencils. I mean for portfolio sake into hopefully getting a little work in my spare time. I know it's hard.

So, for example. If I used some pencil pieces I have that are done by Jim Lee. Is it ok for me to ink and colour that piece and then include it in an ink/colour portfolio to show potential clients?

Would I have to literally ask Jim Lee for permission to do this?

I have seen a loads of pieces that have been inked and coloured, sometimes to a very professional level, but it is hard to know if that artist/inker/colourist had that published as everyone uses alias'.

Just a query. Thank you :)

I could be wrong, but I think when you're building up a professional portfolio it's good to show that you can work in all forms of media not just digital. They always say that good foundations for digital artists is the ability to do traditional work ~ so I wouldn't recommend putting away your traditional pencils...!! Sometimes it's good to just sketch on paper before bringing your ideas to the screen... if that makes any sense. I digress. They key is to just practice, I have found that practicing all forms of 'drawing' has helped other areas such as traditional drawing (repetitive, annoying, boring and lame) has helped improve my digital painting - as odd as that might seem!! - That's an example. Point is practice with what you have and just because say you want to use inks now don't put away the pencils.

But yes. I would say that if you have done pencil pieces which you've then inked and coloured it shows your work flow and the concept and how you developed the stages. You might now want to show every single stage for every single piece in a portfolio. But say you have a 2 page spread. 1 page of sketch, lines, colours etc and then 1 of the fully finished piece. (but like I said not for every single piece).

Portfolio's can be tricky. Finding a good balance is hard but stick with it and you'll soon learn what works well for you. I had this trouble in art school... though there's some good tutorials including unusual make your own portfolio cases!! On YouTube...!! It might be a start for you :D

I am not sure if you need to ask Jim Lee's permission... But generally speaking when I was in art school they said we weren't allowed to put in fan art as it should be all our own work and original characters and concepts. So I don't know where you stand with that...!! I guess it depends on the piece, character etc etc.

And yes we do often see some fantastic work however if it's not 100% our own ie we used someone else's character/concept then that usually is labeled under the "personal work" and wouldn't go into a portfolio.

- This is just what I've learned and I'm in the UK. It could be different for where you are and what you're doing. But I think as a general rule it's good to have your own characters, concepts and designs anyway. Yes be inspired, be influenced but create from your own imagination. I suppose if someone came to you and asked you to do some freelance work based on their ideas and your skill... it might be different. ~But then you often see drawings of people such as their best friend, elderly woman, Bellatrix, Britney Spears etc etc... So I don't fully know, I think if you're showing that you can work and can work from reference then it's good but maybe not lots of this and more of your own concepts would be better, again it would depend on the industry though if you were say wanting to go into do anthro work you're not going to want to have two anthro wolves, four bottles and twenty celebrities... You don't want to be boaring the person viewing your portfolio with 50 pieces of the same thing over and over and over...

Sorry if that's not much use. But hope it helps and as said it's just what I was told about 5 years ago in art school (art college). - My final pieces and portfolio got me a First Diploma in Art and Design. So I don't know if what I said helps, or even makes sense... But I hope it does :D :D :)

Good Luck!! And I'd love to see how your portfolio turns out :D

Ps. You can have multiple portfolios for different applications as you would different C.V's for jobs. You're not going to hand a bar application that has the entire history of your bar work experience to a guy in a fashion shop. Like you wouldn't hand your fashion design C.V to the guy in the bar. Tailor them to suit the specific application.

(C.V - Curriculum Vitae aka Resume)

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That's a very informative perspective. I thank you for spending the time.

I was regarding the matter of showing inking and colour work. Like how comics generally work. Someone pencils it, then someone else inks it, then someone else colours it. They sometimes even have someone who lays in the flat base colour.

What I meant was, just to show ink and colour work over someones pencils to demonstrate those particular skills. Yes, showing work that was pencilled by Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio or David Finch is a tricky one for me. Because they are working professionals, I am not. So is their colour work to be left to professional inkers and colourists in that respective field?

I mean can I use professionally pencilled work to demonstrate ink and colour in hope to get some work as an inker or colourist? Or even both.

I do use pencils a lot these days. I havn't touched digital since I updated my thread last. But my pencils are certainly not up to the standard of working comic professionals.

You're more than welcome for my time!! In fact don't be silly!! :3

I hope it helps, like I said some places are different (I live in England... not sure if I mentioned that).

Yes it is interesting how that concept works where multiple people work on different stages. However if that's the case with Jim Lee (I miss understood what you said). I am sure work like that is accepted as long as you define what stage you did and don't claim it to be all your own work when it isn't. Infact industries may be interested that you can take someones line art and take it to the next stage - I don't know. While I love reading comics (yes I'm a geek and a gamer and a girl - shh) I've not spent much (any) time making them I did do a graphic novel in college but that's not the same. Anyway... I'm sure I saw something on youtube not too long back about it... I'll see if I can find this for you but I have a slimming class I have to attend in about 15 minutes for about 2-3 hours. But to answer what you said I don't see why it wouldn't be allowed. Yes ask Jim Lee's permission and I'm sure you'll find most artists would be flattered in that case. As long as there's enough work to support the fact that you could do that yourself then I don't see why not - personal opinion.

I knew a lot of people in college who swore by copic-markers.. Not sure if they'll help you (expensive though). You can always include different mediums and mixed media too though. I use to love drawing with pencils, colouring with copics, outlining with fine liner or biro, shading with a blue pencil crayon and adding in texture with pastels, chalk, water colours, crayons etc etc... and coloured biro's too rainbow girl at one point lol... but have fun and experiment I'm sure it'll work out...

Anyway I'll try find that video later. I must dash though!! (sorry) and good luck :D


Ps. Don't forget to ask Jim Lee... it might even turn out he knows exactly where you stand with using other's pieces (that sounds awful... but you know what I mean)

Take care, catch ya later :)

© missimoinsane:  Daggers Sketchbook  |  deviantART  |  Facebook Page  |  Personal Webpage 
Thanks. You're right. Yes, I am in England too. I have some Copic Markers they are expensive, but a great product. Thankfully they are refillable. It doesn't work out so expensive once you have the actual pens and the refill inks :)

Thank you for your time!

Hey hey tried to find the video and failed :'( sorry about that. I tried looking on google to see if I could find it there and no such luck. I did however find (what I think is American) scripture outlining portfolio's... ...I did some other reading and from what I can see as long as Jim Lee approves of you using the work and you credit it and explain then you can use it however it's better if everything is your own work. That's your call - it also seems to depend on if you're applying to college, uni etc or a specific industry like a gaming industry, film and animation, comic book etc etc... But there's plenty of free knowledge out there. But I'm glad I could offer you something :) :D

© missimoinsane:  Daggers Sketchbook  |  deviantART  |  Facebook Page  |  Personal Webpage 
Hey Damien!

Sorry to intrude the conversation here, I didn't have time to check everything - but if you are making portfolio for the comic industry in USA, you can have fanart AND you can use famous pencillers work for inking purposes for portfolio pieces. Just remember to give credits, and you don't usually have to ask permission for this.

Actually, most agents have a few samples to inkers to work on.
Just remember to make sure everyone knows you're just inking the pages.

I know Brian Hitch and Ivan Reis have some high resolutions files around the web that I have seen a lot of people using for that :)

Missimoinsane, while I do agree its better you do it on top of your own work, if you don't show your inking skills on top of someone else's pencil, you probably won't be considered for an inking position.

But this is exclusively for applying for comic book industry and talking to the agents I have met down here.

I know some other art directors have nothing against fanart - they actually prefer you show them what you can do with their brand beforehand. But - if you're applying for a concept artist position, how silly fanart would be? They are hiring you to create designs, and you're just using someone else's? lol

This whole portfolio thing seems to be case by case the more I research about. The best thing its to tailor a portfolio exclusively for where/what you're applying. That can be done by producing specific pieces or just hand picking them.

Jon Schindehette, art director for Wizards of the Coast, has a nice series about portfolio building over his blog: (this is the link for the last part, but he have all the handy links in order just at the beginning.)

Hope this helps!
This is much more abstract and blurred lines then we hoped it to be :(

Not an intrusion, a perfect effort in explanation. Thank you. Yes, I was talking about the comics industry specifically. Of course it would be silly to use fan art, or colour over someone's design for a concept art gig.

A great help thank you :)

Nice! Glad to be of help :D

And oh, here is something fancy if you don't know about it yet:

Top Cow comics will be unveiling its annual talent hunt event soon! Take a look, may be a good opportunity.

OMG. Sounds very intriguing. Thank you. Twice you've been positively repped in this thread :)

Ursula. I said many many times it depends on what industry you are applying for. :| and I was only going on a UK based education, as it turns out the guy is also in the UK... There for if they were applying in the US then different rules (would/may) apply.

© missimoinsane:  Daggers Sketchbook  |  deviantART  |  Facebook Page  |  Personal Webpage 
Yup, you did :) I was just trying to add information to what you said, and not negate it - that is not location based, but market/position based, if the research I have done about it is right.

Fair enough :)

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