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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Working With Templates

I've shelved some things to finish my weekly quota of cartoons (as I said, I'm drawing for only a few publications now), so I can now concentrate on rattling off some pages of work.

Personally, I find making a template helps, as does drawing close to same-size; which also makes scanning the drawing into Photoshop on a conventional scanner much easier.

So here's my template, it's on an A4 size (about 11"x8") page, it's 6-panels, and after drawing it with a black pen I scanned it into the computer and changed the line colour to non-photo blue.
Once the template is printed onto the sheets of paper I'm using (high cotton-rag, linen, paper), I can draw on it in a range of formats that fit within the overall rectangle. Because the drawings are quite small I'm using a Koh-I-Noor (Rotring) pen and a Pental brush pen, for the larger panels. After the drawing is on the computer, I fix the 'levels' (the brightness and contrast) which darkens my lines to a solid black, brightens the background to bright white, and makes the blue lines disappear.


Having a planned overall structure such as the maximum 6-panel page helps me plan further ahead, and working to around 9"x 7" allows me to work much more quickly.
Another time saving area for me, in particular, is the text. I'm perfectly happy to use a font and I have no time for any crap about the aesthetics behind it. I've dealt with indy publishers who would rather publish mediocre work that doesn't sell because it has hand-written text, than the most wonderfully written work that couldn't fail to sell, because it uses a font. I'm pleased to say that in at least one case the company went bust, because it was one of the most idiotic business ideas I have ever heard.

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