Business of Cartooning Ramblings & Reviews


Phil Oliveira of the Rhode Island School of Design recently wrote in asking;

I just discovered your blog and was wondering what you’re using under your hand here when you ink? Is it just a scrap of paper?


It looks raised, I have a bad habit of smudging my inks and any tricks to keep that from happening would be much obliged!

Thank you for your time.

It takes practice not to smudge, and a scrap of paper underneath your drawing hand will not only keep you from mistakenly dragging your hand through wet ink, but keep the oils of your hand off the paper as well. The scrap of paper I’m using is a piece of watercolor paper (for extra absorbency).


I use the hand I’m not drawing with to move the scrap of paper around – and rotate my bristol around constantly to keep wet spots of ink at bay as well.


Another thing I do is work on more than one page at a time so if a page I’m working on has a lot of wet ink I can trade off to a different page so that it has time to dry.

Another thing I’d recommend is cloth gloves. In the pic below you’ll see that I’ve cut off the tip of the thumb and index finger for a better grip.

I don’t use them for inking as much as I use them when working on the Wacom tablet. This prevents the oils from my hand from building up/sticking to the plastic so I can get a smoother line.


Granted, no matter how careful you try to be, accidents happen…

The time I rolled my arm over wet ink and miraculously didn't smudge the drawing.
The time I rolled my arm over wet ink and miraculously didn’t smudge the drawing.

Remember, white out is your friend – so are x-acto blades. And for really big smudges/mistakes it’s time for Photoshop and the wacom tablet.

Here’s hoping the preceding was of assistance. For more info on my tools of the trade, check out my previous blog post
Comics – Tools of the Trade

All for now and all the best!