Saturday, March 23, 2013

Daily Report : Helpful tools of the trade

Today I spent quite a few hours working on the newest book illustration. The challenge for me in this piece is not to overwork it. This is actually much harder than it sounds. If you overwork a pen & ink piece you end up with very uniform contrast. If you make this particular mistake it won’t matter if your details are beautifully drawn or not, people won't notice them for the lack of contrast.

I have talked quite a bit in this blog about inks and fountain pens. These are, of course, critical parts of an artist’s arsenal but there a few other tools that are also worth mentioning.

The first is a reducing glass. This glass does the opposite of what a magnifying glass does, it reduces images. Funny eh? A reducing glass is the perfect tool to use for pen and ink as you’ll always want to reduce your drawings before publication. (They look much better that way.) If you’re doing pen and ink work with the expectation of reducing it later, you’ll need to be aware of how the image will look when reduced. After all, you don’t want your carefully constructed lines compressing too much and turning into solid black areas in the final piece. (Hint: you can also do this by standing your drawing up and walking across the room to view it. I do this also.)

My second suggestion is a white correction pen. I use a Pentel Presto Pocket Correction Pen to correct small inking mistakes as I go. It’s a very handy tool. Once I've scanned the final image into my computer, I'll make further corrections in Photoshop. The problem with doing this is that I won't be able to redraw my lines as nicely with my stylus and tablet as with my inking pens, the fluidity of line is just not the same for me.

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