A Minor Epiphany


Drawing linework in Photoshop is starting to grow on me

I picked up a copy of John Buscema ‘A life in sketches’ and was musing on how fast this guy managed to be while keeping on-top of quality (especially when he inked his own stuff). His sketches are stunning. And watching the buildup of lines got me thinking that I need to do something similar in the digital realm.

The problem for me drawing in Photoshop has always been that lines get lost when you zoom out. It’s hard to see what you are doing, Hard to get a nice line, and I would always end up with a constrained feeling. Like it’s not possible to see the whole image properly at once, as on a real bit of paper.

Corel Painter is better at this, even when zoomed out you get a fairly decent line, it seems to average the stroke a bit better and smooth things out. but...I just find other aspects of the app to be too painful.

But looking at the broad strokes Buscema sketched with to put his first rough layout down (I think he would do his ‘thumbnails’ at full size, just straight on the board) I figured I could probably ‘sketch’ with something much larger and looser in Photoshop, and then zoom up for the final lines...filling in the details as I go...as you should when inking your own work really. (ok so maybe this is pretty obvious...but for some reason I would always try to draw like I do on paper...with a thin line for sketching)

So I gave this a go, and it actually seems to be working so far. The lines in the above image are all digital, and I think they are probably as good as my pencil stuff. Plus it feels pretty good on the line by line fun-factor basis.

I did this one a few weeks ago, and now I am running into some issues with how to do larger more complex images in this style (lines with painted background) but that has more to do with the painting than the lines. So all good.

I have also been keeping a journal of screenshots each day which I will start posting now and then.

(In lieu of actual tutorials :x)