Sunday, November 6, 2011

Zip-A-Tone Test

Here is another quick test I did this weekend.

Last week I was finishing up the latest round of kids book covers for the Jake Maddox sports line of stories. Usually I do full paintings for the covers, create the backgrounds, and turn in a finished piece of art. But, the last time around the art director and editors went through each piece of art I did, warped the backgrounds, and changed every color I painted on every character. Yellows turned to reds, bike colors were changed, you name it.

So, for this round, to make it easier for them to change my art, I was asked to keep the characters in layers of color. This meant I had one layer of flat color and one layer on top of it with the shadows. This way they could just go into the color layer, change the colors, and all the rendering and shadows on the characters would be kept intact.

I am beginning to feel less and less like and artist and more like someone who is simply creating jig-saw puzzle pieces so someone else can put together the puzzle. But, that's not the point of this post.

Anyway, to do a quick zip-a-tone test (making basic gray scale painting into dots of pure black and white to replicate gray) I took the shaded layer and put it through a few tests in Photoshop. Basically what I am trying to do is replicate the old zip-a-tone sheets of tone I used to use back in the days when I did Exit 6. I like it graphically a lot better than a simple gray wash over everything (to me, simply graying everything always turns everything muddy) and I think it turned out well.

Some of the future art I do will look like this but probably not as rendered in the shading with all the dots. But, I still think it was a successful test.

I'll try and find the time to post the full color covers I did last week so you can see what I've been up to. But, I can pretty much guarantee that what I show you here won't look anything like the printed product that will be coming out soon. Oh well...

Have a great day!


Jeff Lafferty said...

Looks good Dude

Sean Tiffany said...

Thanks Jeff...just doing a few preparations before everything starts up again. I'm getting excited to start something new.