Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mad Science!

Okay.  So.  Fall semester was as deadly as predicted, and I spent most of winter break recovering.  That time also included a few experiments regarding how traditional lines and photoshop color can interact.  The intent was to preserve pencil lines, which can have more texture to them than ink.

Generally, scanners have a hard time picking up the subtler lines that pencils make, and this was my initial problem.  It's one everyone faces.  But I found a solution!  I reasoned that due to the exposure settings on my scanner (which I'm not sure I can change) the bright whiteness of standard printer/sketchbook paper may be what's drowning out the lighter pencil work.  So I tried drawing on light gray paper and scanning that.  It was a noticeable improvement.  Much more of the information was preserved.

Anyway, here's some pictures.

1.  Nwain.  Traditional: Pencil.  Digital: Ink and color.
Used gray paper.  The paper and pencils were color shifted in photoshop, using hue & saturation set to colorize.  The paper/pencil layer was then set to linear burn and moved on top of the painting layer.

 2.  The Margravine.  Traditional: Pencil and ink.  Digital: Color.
I like to ink traditionally.  It's fun.  So I thought I'd try inking directly on a pencil sketch.  That wasn't fun.  It saved me about two seconds (the time it would take to grab a new sheet of paper and scoot over to the light table), and it cost me a bucket a sweat.  Not doing that again.

3.  Nameless Fire Sprite.  Traditional: Pencil and ink.  Digital: Color.
Here, I penciled on gray paper, got a fresh gray page and inked on that.  One problem with this particular gray paper is that it's not as transparent as regular printer paper.  That made inking difficult.  I could hardly see what I was doing.

4.  The next step will involve finding and testing various light weight toned papers.  I'll start with vellum, as soon as I figure out where I put it...


This picture is somewhat unrelated to the others.  It's inked traditionally and colored in photoshop.  I wanted to try out a new set of pen nibs.  They, at least, work well.

That's it for this entry.  Spring semester is fast approaching, and I'll be just as swamped as Fall.  See you around spring break!