Friday, February 24, 2012

A Letter from Señor Salme

I’m quite certain I don’t deserve being anyone’s favourite illustrator, but thank you! That’s very generous from you.

The “style” question is a tough one. Here’s what I think about style, obvious as it may be. When you are drawing, you are taking decisions all the time (should I put more detail? should this line be thicker?). On average, and in the long term, those decisions are consistent between them because they all speak of yourself in a way or another. That appearance of consistency becomes what people will call “your style”, maybe much to your surprise. But anyway, I’m on the side of those who recommend to just stop worrying about style. Style will happen, like it or not, because you can’t help making similar decisions once and again.

I know the feeling of wanting to mimic someone else’s style. I guess it may be enriching to some extent, but just for a while. If you are too absorbed by someone else’s style, you’ll end up basing absolutly every decission you make while drawing in what you suppose this other artist would do. I think that should be avoided. But hey, who am I to say that? I’m still guilty of that in many ways.

And now, your technical question… For most of my final drawings I use bristol board, which is extra-smooth. Nevertheless, I sometimes use sketchbooks with a slight texture which is actually visible in the scanned image. In this cases you can easily get rid of this texture by slightly adjusting levels in photoshop (go to Image > Adjustments > Levels and try moving the white slider to the left). If the texture is way too rough then maybe this won’t work, and it will be wiser to leave it just as it appears.
If you want to make corrections while leaving the texture (something I wouldn’t recommend in the first place!), I’d suggest trying the clone tool in photoshop instead of the eraser. Just select a clean area (i.e., an area where nothing else is present apart from the texture) as the origin of the clone operation and try different kinds and sizes of brushes until you get what you are looking for.

I hope something of what I said makes some sense to you. I’ve tried my best.

End note: I’ve taken a look to your tumblr and I like your taste.

Keeping this forever