This entry brought to you by the Wacom Tablet ™

My son loves the Justice League like you wouldn’t believe.  So one of the “father and son bonding activities” we do is take extreme close-up photos of his 4.5-inch Justice League collection.  Here’s one such image.

To get myself used to drawing with the Wacom tablet, I put this image into Photoshop, added a “new layer” and simply traced over it with the Wacom tablet. There’s a trick to getting used to the stylus, since you’re not drawing directly to paper.  There’s a weird hand-eye thing that you have to acclimate to.

To give it the feeling of a spontaneous drawing, I limited my “tools” to the Photoshop “pencil” tool and kept it at the same pixel-breadth throughout.  That gave me the same limitation as though I had only a piece of paper and, say, a warm, fat grease pencil (which is exactly what the stylus feels like on the tablet surface.  I also tried to limit the amount of erasure and keep myself to the kind of marks I would make if I were “live” in art class instead of working with an infinitely malleable digital artwork.

When I felt like the drawing was done, I saved only the top layer and voila!  Hawkgirl!

Click for larger view.  For those blessed with Firefox, MUCH larger view.

And, using the same technique, here is ol’ gloomy-puss himself, Martian Manhunter:

hit counter html code


9 Responses to “This entry brought to you by the Wacom Tablet ™”
  1. toliverchap says:

    Cool . . . super cool

    I’m thinking about getting one of those tablets sounds like your idea might be a good way to start working with one. I’m assuming that starting with Hawkgirl, the lamest of the original JL crew, you will be moving on and doing the rest? Supes will look cool in that style as will The Flash. I just started watching the second season of Justice League on DVD and it’s had some pretty good eps (anything with Darkseid is good See Superman volume 3). The commentaries by Bruce Timm,Paul Dini, and Stan Berkowitz are great too. Those guys have been doing cool stuff since the Batman show back in the early 90’s (when it was “okay” for me to watch cartoons).

    • Todd says:

      Re: Cool . . . super cool

      Au contraire, Hawkgirl, I’ve found, is the coolest member of the Justice League. She’s slow to anger, but when she’s angry, watch out! Turns out she’s (spoiler alert) an advance scout for an alien invasion, and only pretending to be a superhero! That, and she’s totally doing Green Lantern! How much more cool can you get?

      That said, I wasn’t starting anyplace in particular, only with the image that came out most promising.

      My admiration for Bruce Timm’s designs has been chronicled elsewhere in these pages. It’s not for nothing that I started buying JLU figures for my son. And he has good taste, too, he’ll settle for nothing else. If I try to interest him in another Batman, he’ll say “But that’s not the real Batman.”

      • toliverchap says:

        Re: Cool . . . super cool

        Yeah I heard that thing about Hawkgirl’s betrayl. GL is cool (who doesn’t like Phil “Samurai Jack” LaMar) despite his attachment to her which only lasts for awhile. Though just you wait if you want to see slow to anger … in the JLU eps (I haven’t seen the last 10 or so) you get the chance to see one of the founding members (usually the comic relief) kick butt on Brainiac and Luthor (episode 77 Divided We Fall) in the super brutal way that Timm does best (see the Superman Dark Seid battle at the end of the Superman series). That and the whole Superman Captain Marvel battle are what drew me back into the DC animated world since Timm and his crew don’t pull any punches (pun intended since I’m all out of wit).

  2. schwa242 says:

    That gave me the same limitation as though I had only a piece of paper and, say, a warm, fat grease pencil (which is exactly what the stylus feels like on the tablet surface.

    I’ve found one way to bypass this texture is to throw a sheet of paper (and you can try different textures) on top of the tablet. This gives the stylus more of a standard pencil feel. I had to do this, because the texture wore off the cover sheet of my old model, and it became to slick for me to use fine detail work, which is hard enough as it is, as I’m poor and have the tiniest model that Wacom markets.

    I really like the value contrast on these!

  3. You’re a better man than I. I could never get the hang of those tablets and pretended to be a Luddite to circumvent ever having to use one. And then these came out:

    …which are pretty amazing and, once you get the feel of them and set them the way you like, mimic the feel of pencil on paper (or brush on paper, or pen on paper…) way more accurately than I ever had a right to expect. Yeah, they’re pricey…but not really any pricier than a big flat panel monitor, and you get to draw on them.

    • schwa242 says:

      Oh those make me drool so much. Yet I fear even attempting to save up for one, because there are enough cats in my home that they would destroy it within a week somehow, even if I kept it in a safe.

    • Todd says:

      When I start getting paying gigs in the comics world, I will get one of those. Nice thing is, by that time those will be $99 too.

  4. eronanke says:

    I have one of those Gateway convertables- I LOVE it.
    I have to take notes in Hittite next year, so I’m super psyched to take it to class.

  5. urbaniak says:

    I think it’s a violation of LiveJournal Terms of Service to use the phrase “warm, fat grease pencil.”