How To's

Get the RIP! AccuRip

For my fellow screen printers. If you want to get into some higher end detail printing that involves simulate process, 4 color process or spots with half tones. Then you need to bite the bullet and invest in some rip software. I personally don’t know anything about it, but I can direct you to someone that does. 
I suggest AccuRip because a lot of my clients use it and are happy.

Give Bob Drake a call and let him give you a quick tour and make sure your settings are correct? In just a five or ten minute phone call we can help you get the maximum benefit out of your AccuRIP trial. Reach Bob at 800-659-8337 x10 or after hours and weekends at his cell 732-492-7722.

How To's · Tutorials and Posts

Princess Leia Step by Step

Princess Leia Step by Step
Line drawing.  Darkening some of the shadows.  This drawing is on bristol board.
I went a head and did the midtones in the background.  Doing this helps me get a nicer contrast with the shading.
I went right in to the hair.  Normally, I wait until the end to do the hair, but this time I just dove right in.  I also darkened the eyes a little.
Some more of the hair and midtones on her face.
Working on the hands and completing the hair on the other side.  It’s time to start on her face.
Adding some shadows and midtones starts bringing her to life.  She is starting to look like Leia.
Working on darkening the midtones before darkening the shadows.
Starting to go dark on the shadows. I like my darks almost black.  I love contrast.
Here’s te final.  I threw in a stylized background.  I like the viewer to see it’s a drawing and this rough style depicts that.
How To's · Tutorials and Posts

Screen Printing Art: Spot Color Separations

This is my video series on Spot Separations in Photoshop.  I start with the simple Spot Color with loose registration, move to slightly more complex Spot Colors with trapping, then creating a white base and followed by how to print out the seps.

The First Video: Simple Spot Colors


The Part 2 is in 2 parts.  This is slightly more complex (don’t worry you can handle it)


Here is Part 3 which is also in 2 sections.  This is creating a simple white underbase.


And Finally here is the Video on Printing Out the Seps.


How To's

Miraculous Lady Bug Step By Step

It all starts with a rough that turns into a sketch.  I use the red because it glides across the paper and gives me nice curves.  When I am satisfied with the sketch I transfer it to Grey Toned paper.  I’ve been wanting to try the colored pencils on the toned paper.
With a nice light pencil line so that it can be easily erased, I start with flesh tones.  Luckliy, Lady Bug only has her face showing, which makes it easy to experiment with the flesh color.  I tend to get the flesh colors a little too red, so this was a great project to experiment on.
Now, the eyse and her mask.  I have been playing around with a manga style for the eyes.  The mask has about 3 shades of reds. Her eyelashes are done with my brush pen.
Now, this was the most laborous part…alll that red!  I really paid attention to keeping the highlights the paper color so that I’m not trying to over use the white pencil.  Threw in some purples and blues to get the shadows.
Finally, the hair.  I used purples and blues along with the black and greys.
I use a white colored pencil to burnish and blend the colors.  Sometimes I use a coloreless blender, but I find in the sections with highlights it’s helpful to just use the white pencil.
How To's

Tauriel Step by Step

I start with a light pencil sketch. Since I do a lot of my work with graphite, I try to keep from getting to much shading with the pencil.  You only want to really add the shadow areas.  Then I add a very light coat of fixitive to hold the graphite.
I free hand the first flesh color, not too worried if the color runs into the hair.  Focusing on the shadows and midtones.  Pay close attention to the highlight areas, this saves a lot of time so you don’t have to try and pull out the highlight areas with an eraser.  Plus, the more of the board you have the more realistic the hightlights look instead of trying to do a ton of erasing or trying to use white over top. As you can see, I got a little heavy over the ear,  this is going to be a challenge to fix.
Adding in some pink, going into the shadow areas, the eye lids and the lips. Again this is all freehand. I also come in with an eraser pencil to pull out some of the highlights.
Now I start adding some background with a regular brush. And then a little to the sky area with the airbrush.
Adding some more pink to the face to add volume to her cheeks.
Now, I come in with colored pencil to keep the hair detailed and seperated.
A little more fine tuning with the colored pencils in the ears and around the eyes
Colored pencils in layers to color in her jacket.  I concentrate on the eyes, nose, mouth and ears with the colored pencils. I use a lot of light layers with the colored pencils.  I figure you can always add more but have a hell of a time trying to take it away.
Adding in white highlights and strands of hair with a regular brush. Detailing some final touches like the lips.  And this is finished.
Here is the final. I painted the border black to cover up the overspray because I didn’t think to mask it first. 
How To's

Work Ethics, Time Management and how to get more done

About 6 months ago, I went with Nikki to drop some things off to the seamstress to get altered.  I actually enjoy going to see Brenda the Seamstress, I always leave with more knowledge than I came with.  Brenda does alterations to wedding and prom dresses for a few local bridal shops.  At times she is so busy, I don’t know how she gets it all done but she always does. So, I asked her.

I came to conclusion, there was no secret it was good old fashion work ethic.  She works out of her home, in which the entire basement is set up for her.  There is a TV that I have never seen on and a radio always going.  I asked her if she ever turned on the TV.  Her response was NO it was too distracting.  I automatically compared it to my work practice and realized I always have the TV on.

So I started using the radio not my ipod but the radio.  Why? It was good background noise in the sense that it wasn’t so lonely.  Now, I do use my ipod a lot but there’s a lot to say with a good old fashion radio in the room.  To me it builds environment in which like it or not, we have to have an environment we like in order to be productive in the long run.

I also block off a certain time frame that I choose to do things.  A time frame that I know from past experiences, I won’t be interrupted.  Late night or very early mornings work for me.  Everyone is either sleeping or at school or work.  I actually prefer late night into the very early mornings because,  I am the only one up. I get no text messages or phone calls.

I pre-plan what I am going to accomplish.  A quick 5 minutes to outline a plan of attack goes a long ways.

I also try to plan on how to kill 2 birds with one stone. Such as, what I could be doing while paint is drying.  Paint doesn’t need to be watched and this way its not an excuse for being unproductive.  For instance, I paint under paintings and while its drying, I’m sketching roughs on a different project.  You know, multi-tasking.  *Becoming a master at multi tasking is a key ingredient to getting lots done.

And honestly, that’s it.  No real secrets.

*Just eliminate distractions

*Create a plan of attack

*learn to mulitask

For instance.  With these products I sell. The custom painted shoes.  I can be painting the left shoe while the right shoe is drying.  I know pretty self explanatory, I know. But sometimes good common sense is a must too.


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