Harlequin asks:
Can anyone advise me or point me to a tutorial on turning a color scan of a pencil sketch to a sharp looking inked lines in CS4? I hope that makes sense.

Go to Adjustments > Desaturate.

Then go Adjustments > Levels. You should get a histogram with three triangles below it. Drag the triangle on the left across to the right and you should get thick dark lines. If not play with these until you get the affect you want. Curves will give you a bit more control with this if you need it.
Then it is up to you if you want a more stylised effect you can play with some of the filters but I would advise against this.

My thoughts:
This better work Emblee. My art is well known to sport dirty/messy lineart.

Funky asks:
Are Simon Bisley / Frank Frezetta styled art works possible digitally? All those rich colors and textures ?
Does anyone knows of any training materials on these ? Hope to hear from you soon.

Probably better to go with Painter instead of Photoshop if you're trying to achieve a Frazetta/Bisley look as Painter tends to look more like the real medium. Not saying it can't be done in Photoshop, only that it can be done more easily in Painter.

Baron Impossible:
I think the software is a few years off being able to emulate oils on board / canvas in the way masters like Frazetta used them, and that's not to mention the required skills of the artist! No digital artist I'm aware of can match Frazetta's oils and although I don't rate Bisley as highly I'm still not aware of anyone using digital well enough to emulate his use of traditional media.

That's not to say digital artists are less skilled - the digital works of Jon Foster, Justin Sweet and Craig Mullins are every bit as good as their traditional counterparts - just that when digital artists try to emulate top traditional artists the results are often less than convincing.

My thoughts:
I will have to seriously look at this 'Painter'.

Lanhao asks:
Hi there, I just started to get back into CG work, and one of my weakest points was blending with shading of pictures (well, it's the one thing that's been an issue for me recently ^^;). Are there any suggestions on blending colors on a picture? I am trying to smoothen out the image a bit, but i don't want it to look blotchy when I attempt it.

I find that the smudge tool works well for blending but you have to practice a bit, smudging back and forth and adding a bit of a blur to the area, maybe painting in a dab of color again. Then smudging some more. Also the bandaid tool works well if the contrast between colors is not strong, otherwise you get some odd effects.


For blending i tend to use a combination of the smudge, and brushes. if you turn the opacity and flow down to a really low level you can brush over areas that you want to blend with another colour or a variation of a colour (if that makes sense) when i use a brush to blend i turn the levels down to about 12 opacity and 20-30 flow, i tend to use a stipple brush to blend or make my own. You can also use the blur tool for a bit of extra smoothing if you want.

I find i'm using brushes more often for blending as sometime i find the smudge tool just moves the colour around rather than blend colours. it's pretty much a case of finding out for yourself which method you prefer though.

My thoughts:
So I've basically address two of my greatest weakness in painting. These questions however, do not address my fugly color choices, awkward composition, and lack of emotional connection with the viewer.

Bob asks:
I'm trying to use the pen or straight line tool to draw straight lines (funnily enough), but every time I try it a vector mask(?) is created and the straight lines show through all my layers.

I think the fading over distance (as you draw straight lines in Photoshop using the SHIFT key) is caused by the Flow. Set it too 100% and you should have no problem. Then you can use pen pressure to adjust the opacity of the line or put it on a seperate layer and adjust the layers opacity.

When you use the "Pen Tool" you can make a straight line, then right click and add a stroke. You can then select the path and delete it leaving only the stroke.

My thoughts:
Ugh. Straight lines. I can never get this right. When... WHEN

I mean, look at this latest piece I made in my Deviantart account! I tried. I tried to get the palette right, the composition, the value, all that crap. And it still isn't good enough. When? Huh?

1 Responses to Ask Me About Photoshop #1

  1. mihaela Says:
  2. Hi,
    I'm a beginner here.
    I have to open a document in imageready in photoshop CS4. How can I do that?


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