Teacher's Lounge

Teacher’s guide chapter 13: Black Gold

Lectures & discussions

13.1 The liquid line

Supplement reading this section with a demo if possible, as well as more examples of brush art from your own collection.

13.2 Softening the black

The point of this section is to underscore that brush (and pen for that matter) are not just used for line and solid black but for intermediate values as well. To practice these tones, repeat the activity from Chapter 8, page 108. Have students draw grids of 1″ squares and then fill them with various brush tones and patterns.


Ink a panel in brush

When critiquing the group's drawings make sure that students are looking for interesting visual solutions and uses of brush. One student's panel might look polished but have little of real interest to it while another student who doesn't yet have the drawing chops might come up with some unusual linework or dramatic black spotting.

Know your brushes

Buying, protecting, and cleaning a brush

It's a good idea to make time for the "Cleaning" section of this sidebar at the end of class. You want to establish the habit of cleaning brushes early on, especially for those students who buy expensive brushes.

More examples of brush inking

Further reading

See “Further reading” in Chapter 8.

Finish pencils of your six-page story and begin inking

Emphasize the importance of lettering before doing any other inking. One of the most common conundrums for our students is that they get all excited to ink their drawings and only later realize that they haven't left enough space for their dialogue. Incidentally, in any real-time classroom situation you are unlikely to have the whole class keeping the same pace at this point, so it's up to you how you want to reconfigure the order of assignments.

Line for line II

This might be a good extra assignment for students who are ahead on their pencils, as a warm-up for inking. (Note that there is an error in the first printings of the book, which we will fix in future printings. The line "Practice brush control" should be a new bullet point; a new brush practice idea.)

Chapter 13: Finish pencils of your six-page story and begin inking

This is an important crit because it's students' last chance to revise their remaining pages before going to inks. You should concentrate especially on lettering (including spelling and grammar), finish on pencils, and what works and doesn't on whatever panels they have inked so far. Have students photocopy reductions of any inked pages to see how the work will look at a typical reproduction size. Review correction techniques, referring to Chapter 8.2, "Making corrections." Remind students to wait until they have finished a page before doing corrections—they slow you down and often end up being unnecessary when the page is fully inked.