Cosmic, Maaaannnnnn!

A war wages within me between traditionally and digitally inking my cartoons. I go back and forth between my pens and brushes and my Wacom tablet. It depends on the job, my mood or whatever is close at hand.

Cosmic ManCosmic, Man was inked traditionally.

I must admit that I had no idea what I was going to do for this year’s anniversary card. After a bit of research on the internet, I found that crystal is the traditional gift given for the fifteenth anniversary. I made the mental leap – crystal, crystals, new age, hippies. I grabbed a wire bound sketchbook and quickly sketched out the fellow above in my favorite indigo pencil. I figured I would scan the sketch and ink it digitally, but instead, I grabbed my beloved Pentel Pocket Brush which is like a fountain pen with a nylon brush head instead of a nib. It does fat and fine lines beautifully and really is a pleasure to use.

The problem with the indigo lead is that it does not erase very easily or very well. I let the inks dry over night and attempted to erase the pencil lines the next day. I scanned the drawing in grayscale rather than bitmap and was able to make the pencil lines vanish using levels in Photoshop.

As usual, I colored the cartoon in on the computer using Photoshop.

Of course, my hippie needed a tie-dye tee shirt. I was going to fake it daubing some virtual paint around with my digital brushes, but I took a look on the internet for Photoshop tutorials, and found several on creating a tie-dye texture. THIS was the best one, and using it as a guide with some slight variations I created this pattern. I dropped it in on Cosmic, Maaaannnnnn’s tee shirt on a layer beneath my ink layer in Photoshop. POOF! Instant new-age, hippie guru guy!

More color was applied. Background ideas were fiddled with. Filters tried. Blending modes played with. A lot of it is playing, and a lot of other stuff is stuff I remembered tripping across before.

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2 Responses to Cosmic, Maaaannnnnn!

  1. John says:

    Did you mean to say Poof your a butterscotch krimpit ? Ha. I like the Gel Pens, you can find them anywhere.

  2. Joe_Williams says:

    Gel Pens are great. I think you can find better disposable art supplies than permanent ones. There are markers and brush pens that beat the tar out of brushes and technical pens available nowadays.

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