Mouse, part 5

22 Jun

I wanted to explore another method for drawing characters, without the hassle of gray pencil lines in my inked drawings. Professional illustrators use non-repro blue (aka non-photo blue) pencils, which can be erased after inking, and whatever remains of the blue can be filtered out in Photoshop. In practice, you only erase the blue if your drawing will be offered for sale. In production you don’t waste time with erasing, because it is a simple action in Photoshop (at least, you can set it up as an action) to get rid of the color and be left with only the black ink lines on a white background.

Since I don’t own Photoshop, and non-repro blue pencils are expensive and hard to come by, I tried a blue colored pencil instead. Here is the original scan.


I separated this with GIMP into CMYK (cyan magenta yellow black), and cleared all layers, except the black layer (in GIMP you “clear” by filling a layer with black), and reassembled the result into a color image.

Mouse, part 5 (black channel)

After cleaning up and making it a pure black-and-white drawing, this is the result.

Mouse, part 5 (cleaned)

It’s clear to me that I have to do this process a lot before I have mastered it. It’s much easier than using a pencil lead and inking over that. There’s always some of the original pencil lead in the scanned image, however thorough you are with erasing any pencil lines. With this method, you can remove the original pencil sketch quick and reliably. The advantage is that your sketch can be much looser and contain construction lines and such without any of it appearing in the cleaned up scan.

That is all.

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