Friday, January 11, 2013

Ballpoint Baller- technique

I had a question about my transfer process before I do a final ballpoint drawing. Now, if I am working in my sketchbook, I just wing it with no predrawing, but that is easy when there isn't a description I have to follow!

But when you are on a gig, there is an approval process. And you don't want to kill yourself on a drawing that may get killed in the end, so you send a prelim.

So I do a quick thumbnail, which is usually a pencil or pen scribble in the margin of a manuscript. I scan that into the computer and use the stylus and photoshop to clean it up. I will attach a page of what these drawings look like, be warned, they aren't pretty!!

After approval I make any changes in P-shop based on feedback. I tighten some things in the computer, but it is usually pretty messy still. I want to leave some fun for the actual ballpoint so I don't spell it all out.

When I am ready to do the final, I first tint the drawing to the CYAN with 'image/ adjust/ hue/saturation'. Then I go into 'Image/ Adjust/ Levels' and use the slider on the bottom of the window by grabbing the 'dark' side slider and sliding it all the way up to about 252. It will look like the drawing is gone, but it is still there, just very light.

I then print it out with my Epson on Strathmore 2ply bristol 500 plate surface. It is hard to see the printed drawing, but if you did it right, you will see just enough to get the ballpoint flying.

In the attached Archway of doom you can still see the cyan printout I am working over inside the entrance.


  1. What kind of Epson printer are you using?

    1. John, I am using an Epson 7800 large format printer and these pages are 14X17. But it's work with any inkjet printer I would think. Thanks for the interest!