11 September 1997

Digital Color

The switchover to digital color wasn't nearly so smooth and instantaneous as the black and white line work. I had a lot to learn about tones and values and how to turn what I see on my screen into something that will show up the same way once it sees print. The first few forays into the world of digital color work were a bit of a mess in some respects, but with each job, new learning opportunities arose. The above illustration was one of the first tries at a color assignment on the computer and was for Legal Times. I tried to emulate a Japanese watercolor for this story about legal warfare with the orient. Some of the Japanese details turned out quite nice, but it was a bad mix with my standard scratchboard characters. I would have been better off to try and keep the same style throughout. I had another color assignment for the same client this month, and I chose to try and do this one in a painterly style. This one was even more of a mess. Poor color choices, poor grasp of the techniques involved, and hampered by another bad concept and layout dictated by the client's need to save money by incorporating all the stories in one particular issue into one cover illustration (and then pull out individual portions for reuse on the inside).

I also had a first map assignment this month, this one for my agent (I forget the local client), and for this one I chose to experiment with the 'watercolor' tools, and also trying out a few 'masking' techniques to mixed results.