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Take a digital leap of faith

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By Robert Johnston / Inscape Editor

( Watson Guptill Publications)

By Robert Johnston / Inscape Editor

Like most artists, the thought of an all-digital workflow seems somewhat false, crazy and maybe even like cheating.

Most die-hard artists feel like going digital is not real art, but this new book from DC Comics and Freddie Williams II brings up all of the questions you may have, and answers them, in a neat, tidy, all-encompassing index of how-to’s.

The Book “DC Comics Guide To Digitally Drawing Comics” explains from page one that this can be a tried and true method of expanding your artistic inspirations from your mind directly to your computer, virtually eliminating your paper workflow.

The book is adorned with beautiful artwork, and very informative text from Williams II, detailing his start of going digital in 1999. This brings you up to date with the current state of digital artwork and practices.

Williams is currently a DC Comics artist, most recently on Robin.

He explains that he showed his artwork at the San Diego Comic Convention in 2005, and the DC Reps were blown away by his detailed line art.

Then, when he explained that it was all-digital, they couldn’t believe their eyes. He was then placed on a list of four people, out of virtually thousands, for a further interview. He was then put in front of the DC Creative Director, Richard Bruning, and Freddie explained that his work was one hundred percent digital, and Richard was amazed. Needless to say, he was picked up to be the next Robin artist, and the rest is history.

Deeper into the book, you find that Williams explains the do’s and don’ts, goes into Photoshop for the beginner, helps you lay out a plan to get started, details what you need in the way of supplies, and illustrates step by step, his processes, all digital, or a hybrid print/digital workflow.

If you’re an artist, then you know there are virtually thousands of artist books out there, on virtually every subject, but if you are looking for a book that targets this area, you can find no better a book than this.

Having had the pleasure of using this book, this writer can vouch at its clarity and creative diversity.

If all you know is paper, this book helps you make the transition nicely.

With most traditional printed books and newspapers taking the hit in this economy, things are going digital at an incredible rate.

 We won’t go into actual numbers of print versus online here, but an artist knows how painstaking it is to be carrying around all of your pens, pencils, erasers, and ink bottles, not to mention the cost of maintaining a healthy supply of each.

The choice to go digital is not just a choice, but also an artistic lifestyle change.

You will not be the same artist after reading this book. You will be a better artist, because when applied correctly, this book helps you remove all of the obstacles every artist faces, all of the time consuming chores one usually expects, pen smudging, white-out, fingerprint marks, constant redraws, all of which, will no longer be a problem, as it is easier to just do all of that within Photoshop. You will be able to spend all of that saved time for drawing, which is the whole point of all of this.

You don’t have to be a pro at Photoshop to get this book, if you’re an artist, and you already own a copy of Adobe Photoshop, then there is a good chance, that you already incorporate the software, at least in part, into your workflow.

This book is a testament of Freddie Williams’ skills in this area that this writer has found priceless. This book should be on every artist’s bookshelf. It is this writer’s opinion that this book, will be looked back upon, as one of the first cornerstones of comic book creation and digital artwork.

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