Motivation: OReilly book
on Illustration with Photoshop
Features: 9 French Illustrators explain how they used Photoshop on illustration
has a deserved reputation as a brilliant photo finishing tool with its color,
style, and layering controls. But Photoshop has built up a very solid palette
of pens, brushes and brush customizations. These go along with traditional
strengths in masking and newly strengthened filtering capabilities (the Filter
is one of the star attractions of the new Photoshop CS)such that Photoshop
is starting to be perceived as a topnotch illustration tool as well. It certainly
helps Photoshop's case that vector drawing capabilities have also improved
over the last few versions as well.
So what Oreilly's Illustration with Photoshop: A Designers handbook does
is show how nine French illustrators have used Photoshop on serious illustration
projects. What is fascinating to see is when and how Photoshop is used.
For example, I fully had expected the artists to start and use Photoshop
from the beginning because the new hardware tablets and tools link in so
very nicely with Photoshop's software brushes and vector pens. Not so. One
illustrator, Hippolyte bemoans the exacting and unforgiving nature of scratchboard
to do so blithely bypassing Photoshop's powerful history and undo capabilities.
And in general, many of the illustrators started with doing traditional pen
and pencil drawings and then scanned the resulting sketches in. Two artists
used photos as templates, similar to the improved cloning capabilities in
Painter IX. So already there is diversity in approaches.
And this theme is carried on in the finishing of the images in color. In
fact, several of the artists drastically revised the original pencil sketch
image and tried a number of different coloring techniques. Notably absent
were any widespread use of fills, patterns, and gradients. What was used
were Photoshop's layering capabilities to try on different stylings. As well,
polygon stars, light airbrush fog, and color density changes. In general,
going from sketch to final product was a truly broad set of individual styling
At slightly less than a hundred lavishly laid out pages, general guidelines
but no comprehensive details - this is a specialized Photoshop book that
will have some saying the $25US price tag is an absolute bargain and others
hoping that it shows up in their local library.
(C)JBSurveyer 2005 Feb Home Adobe