If you have it Illustrator makes this really easy if a little time consuming. They way I like to do it is to cover the whole figure whatever in black with the pen tool making a silhouette, and then I use white to create the negative shapes inside. This method gives you tremendous control over your line width shape etc. The pieces you linked to look like they were done in Illustrator then sent over to photoshop for coloring, texturing, and cleaning up.
Thanks for the wake up I agree, and I think that would be the way to go - if I wanted to stick to one size. I started to think about vectors because maybe I'd print the pictures in large formats later on. So I tried to figure out a way to be versatile while retaining some of the natural, hand-drawn expression in the drawings. Asking the question here has made me realize that I really need to decide what my goal is, in terms of finished products.
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to answer, and for keeping it simple.
Lately, I've been going over sketches in pen, erasing the pencil beneath, scanning them, and adjusting the contrast for clean lines. Even if I had my tablet with me (which I currently don't), I'd probably still do it that way because then I can do my lines in the go, and I ink darkly enough and sketch cleanly enough that I don't usually have to do any major cleanup after scanning. Whatever suits you, though.
Yeah, I was kinda hoping not to have to do a lot of clean-up work... but in the end, it all comes down to what kind of expression I want in the picture, and that dictates what tools to use and how to apply them. But I think you make a good point any way: all the parts of the process are linked together, and doing the first steps well pays off later on. Some would call that a self-evident fact, but you don't really appreciate it until you've spent countless hours doing clean-up and do-overs.
Hehe, I can relate to that. My photography teacher said that "if you take your time setting up the lights, camera and objects/persons properly, you don't have to spend hours in Photoshop later on cleaning up your mess." And I think the same applies to the process of sketching as well. Or maybe it gets better/easier when I reach a certain level of craftmansship, I dunno....
If you have Paint Tool SAI then I would really recommend using it. I've only just started but the ability to create 'linework layers' s really handy. Plus you can paint under it and create layers just like photoshop! (: Or you could alays use the pen tool in PS - similar effect.