Blog posted by Ste Pickford on Mon, 19 Jun 2017
This stage shows an abandoned experiment that I tried it on this and a couple of other illustrations in the series.
Once I’d inked in the background I became worried that it was all too flat and even - that there wasn’t enough contrast between dark and light areas, and that all the detail merged into a confusing mess. I had the same worries early on when I first started the series, but convinced myself that all the interesting little details would overcome this. There weren’t so many interesting little details in this illustration, so I feared that it wasn’t working.
My solution was to try a halftone layer. This gave me a way of picking out brighter details (like the divers and the house), and knocking back busy or noisy areas (like the fallen tree and grass) to make them less distracting to the eye.
I agonised over this for a couple of days, without really making any progress. Turning the halftone layer on and off, tweaking the darkness level, switching it between flat grey or letratone style dot patterns, etc. without being able to make a decision.
I also realised that if I used halftone on one illustration, I should probably use it on the others. I tried it out on Chapter 8, which worked, but there wasn’t really a place for halftone areas on some of the other illustrations. The inconsistency of using halftone on some, but not all of the illustrations, was what finally convinced me to abandon the idea, and stick with just bold solid black and white inking.
Click the 'Predecessor post' link below to see the previous stage.
Click the 'Follow up post' link below to see the finished illustration.
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