Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Going Digital

All the OilCan Drive pages I featured a few days ago on the blog have now been scanned into the computer and are getting a digital makeover.

I've added lettering digitally and have also been adding gray tones and special effects.

One of the things I decided when I started doing these pages was to try and mimic all the old school comic book effects I used to do by hand but do it with a bit less work in the computer. I love using gray tones to make certain things pop on page but I've never really been a fan of just using simple grays on a printed page. It just never looks quite right to me. And, usually, I find artists use it so much, simply because they can, that the whole page just looks like a big pile of gray sludge where nothing pops.

I used to have two tones of zip-a-tone dots when I was doing Exit 6. One was a 60% gray and another was 30%. They were just sheets of black dots that represented gray by the amount of dots on each sheet. I used to have to put this tone of black dots onto the original page and then hand cut around each section I wanted used. It was a long process and I had more than a few little cuts on my fingers from the x-acto blade.

Another way I used to achieve a gray effect when all I had were my hands and a bottle of ink was to use a toothbrush to splatter ink over sections of the page. Using both black ink and white out splattered with a toothbrush you get some interesting effects.

I also just drew fine lines with a ruler to get some sort of gray feel to a page. All of these things, using black lines to achieve grays, were things I learned while doing Exit 6 over ten years ago. I recently pulled some of those original pages and some of the tools I used out of the closest to see what I had at my disposal at that time.

So, because I love them and love the way they look, I am recreating all of those fabulous tones using the computer. There is not a gray on the entire page. It's all hard black and white. It may be dots, lines, or toothbrush splatter representing a gray tone, but it's all black and white.

It's graphic, it's fun, any client I have would probably hate me for doing it, but I am absolutely loving it and loving the way it's looking.

Rock and roll, baby! Rock and roll!