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.
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!