Preparing Closed Black and White Line Drawings for Digitization


Closing black lines for colouring.

Closing black lines.

When software programs such as Paint, Paint.net and Gimp are used to digitalize black line drawings, the line work should be well prepared beforehand.

These are the attributes required so that line drawings are suitable for digitization.

Lines to be cleaned

What is a Journal

What is a Journal?

  • thick black lines are better (grey scale)
  • closed lines are essential to capture paint flooded from a paint can tool
  • coloured line could be used rather than black but this would complicate matters for young learners

There are many ways to get started with digitalization. It is OK for different artists to show learners different ways to get started. If this happens, they should have appropriate sets of notes to which they can refer.

B&W Drawing Basic Tool in all Graphic Software Programs

The programs Microsoft Paint, Paint.net and Gimp are either free to download or freely loaded and available at local libraries. If newbies learn on these kinds of programs it will ensure they can always easily, affordably and readily have access to the programs to practice their skills. The simple concepts out lined in this article will also apply if beginners are learning with more sophisticated programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash and the like.

B&W Line Drawing a Skeleton Structure for Digitalization

The black line drawings are best described as the skeleton structure beneath a digital painting or drawing. Before learning about line it might make it easier to browse sites such as Elfwood, and Deviant Art to see what others have achieved with digitalised drawing.

Example of a B&W Open Line Drawing

Within the context of a little story about Action Researchthis line drawing stands alone as a black and white image. For it to be digitalised as coloured drawings, a lot of preparatory work must be done.

The worried mouse is an example of an open line drawing. It would not be possible to isolate shapes to flood with colour from a paint can tool, because no shapes are closed off with enclosing lines. The idea of enclosing shapes is an important concept for digital artists to learn.

Example of an Enclosed B&W Line Drawing

In this example, the journals have been isolated to stand out as the main focus point for discussion.  With darker lines, I have enclosed the shapes of the spine of the books in preparation for flooding with color. To practice download the image of stacked journals and flood the shapes with colour from the paint can tool of the software program you are using.  books

A Better Way to Prepare B&W Drawings for Digitalization

To totally prepare the drawing for digitalization before uploading for work in any software program is better.

This step of the process will

  • save you a great deal of time and effort
  • keep the process simple for learners
  • make the original drawing a little more complex and polished
  • help you think projects through ahead of time

When drawing, cartoonists often draw in pencil first and then they draw over the soft drawing in ink. They can also redraw the image by tracing over the original drawing taped above a light box on to another page. At this stage, think through the process to determine which lines need to be enclosed. Be sure to achieve full completion of all enclosed shapes and spaces then.

Keep preparatory work simple when showing a beginner how to use the Paint Bucket Tool. Ensuring there are no unclosed lines means there will be no unnecessarily complicated issues to make the process harder.

Resources:

book_cover                                                                                              Like these lessons? Global Citizens 

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