Q: When you transfer drawings from your sketches to the “official board” MAD sends you… do you just redraw the whole thing or what do you do?
A: I physically redraw it, but considering I don’t draw the roughs very detailed it’s more of a tightening and completing than it is total redrawing. Here’s the process:
I do the sketches at print size, directly on the MAD layouts like so:
Then I scan them into PhotoShop. I enlarge them to 200% of the original size, which makes them the exact size of the boards MAD sends me. I print them on my Epson Color Stylus 2200, which is an oversized printer that can handle large paper like Super B (13″ x 19″). In the case of a splash page, I print it in quarters and tape them together. In the case of a regular page, each row will fit on a Super B page.
I have a homemade light table in my studio. I made it out of a large overhead fluorescent shoplight I bought at Home Depot. I built a frame for it and turned it upside down, removing the flimsy plastic cover. I bought a sheet of Plexiglas cut to just bigger than the edges of the shoplight, and sanded one side until it was milky white. I placed it over the light with the sanded side down. I had to add an outlet plug to the end of the wires, as these lights are made to be hard wired in and not ‘plugged’ in. Presto! A large (24″ x 48″) light table!
Using the table I place the MAD boards over top of the enlarged sketch prints, line them up properly and sketch in the images. I do this lightly and without adding detail, except in the rare cases where my rough sketch happened to turn out really nicely and I don’t need to work it up any more than I already did. In most cases, I just put down a quick impression of the roughs.
Once I have that done, I drag out my reference. I always work out the faces and caricatures far more completely, and will also add in the background details and flesh out the rest of the art. Sometimes this means a lot of work and sometimes the rough sketch will serve just fine for the basis of the inks. I always want to leave room for interpretation with the inks, or else the inks will just be “tracing” the lines and it will lose life and spontaneity.
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