So I struggle with digital line art. I don’t know why I struggle so much. I don’t know if my cheap tablet is just too old and janky. I don’t know if my brain just doesn’t work digitally. I don’t know if there’s a ton of tricks I just don’t know. But today I intended to attempt to remedy at least 1 of them. Off to google I went and stumbled across this video.
How to make tidy lines I drew on top of my scans? That sounded easy. That sounded up my alley. That sounded like something I needed to try and learn.
Well, it turns out I don’t have a lot of digital drawings I like on hand. They’re all older. Go figure. So I pulled up an old pencil drawing from 2012 that looked pretty tidy.
Looks tidy enough right? Well I have about 7 different attempts to make line art of this without redrawing the whole thing on top.
Wonder why I refuse to pull out my tablet and quickly doodle on top? Well for starters it wouldn’t be quick.I’m a freakishly slow tracer. I’ll chalk this up to practice. Secondly, my tablet pen is all janky right now. I have a wacom bamboo that I got for maybe 80 bucks back in 2006 or 2007. Small, economic, inexpensive, but didn’t age well. There’s a strange sticky residue all over the pen that makes it unpleasant to hold. Googled this problem, it’s apparently very common for this particular pen. Replacing the pen looks like it’ll cost me enough that it’d be worth it for me to just upgrade my tablet. We’ve come A LONG way since 2006. In an optimal situation I can get a tablet I don’t have to draw from afar with. I’d love to be able to prop my tablet up and gesture draw on it. Regardless, none of this is a right now purchase. I’m still itching for that foam to make armor or cutting out recipe cards. So, long story short, no cleaning digital lines.
7 trials later and the cleanest I could get it without spending forever was something like this.
If anyone’s interested in my failed trials I’ll be happy to provide them and tell you what I did differently, but just trust me: they’re yucky.
You’d think at this point I’d decide “alright, I think I can remember this. Now lets try it with a different drawing. Time to pull the tablet out”. Nope. It’s been at least a year since I’ve digitally coloured anything and the itch hit me.
doodle. doodle. colour. colour. This drawing is so old I don’t even remember what colours the original was supposed to be. It was fun following old motions I haven’t done in forever. I stuck to my tried and true colouring methods, despite having downloaded some new brushes yesterday that I think will get me that opaque water colour-y effect I see other artists using. You know what I’m talking about right? where it kind of fades out and looks organic?
Kinda like this but not this.
Reguardless: fun, practice.
So in the end, sort of a speed drawing? Looking at the clock now i’m embarrassed to tell you how long it actually took me to do what used to take me 30 minutes. But maybe I can find some other old work that’ll be easier to practice this technique with. Or I could use the sketch book that’s been next to me for the last few hours waiting to do a Dragon Age Inquisition meme.
EDIT: So I just tried this technique with some digital line art I’d made in the past and I’m not sure if it’s just me or what at this point, because it didn’t make a perfect copy this time either. We’ll see.
EDIT EDIT: So it is just me, haha. I found out how to reset my tolerance. Funny how much of a difference that makes.