9. My Approach to Creating Images

Let me define “Images” first:   The term ‘image’ in the graphic art/design world refers to a visual representation of an object, scene, person or abstraction–produced on a surface.

Synonyms: graphic, icon, picture, photo, illustration.

I use the following image types in my book-creation process:

  • Photographs (of my hands, lace pieces, etc.)
  • Illustrations: raster format (line-scale drawings) & vector-format
  • I scan my lace pieces—at least 300 dpi (usually 600 dpi is adequate)
  • Then I use Photoshop to clean them up:

¨Erase any background to ‘white’

¨Can change hue/saturation of the color for best printing quality

  • I photograph (with my little ‘point-&-shoot’ digital camera—set to highest quality/resolution level) my tools & hands demonstrating an action
  • I use Photoshop to erase the background/erroneous elements.
  • Custom illustration—Line-scale drawings
  • Goal is to get simple black line drawings onto a totally white background. If you make ‘closed’ shapes then the interiors of the closed spaces can be colored in a different program. For example, I want to illustrate two different thread sources—so I color in the threads with different colors (either grayscale differences or two totally different colors)
  • Sketch(in pencil) the design on ghost-free paper.
  • This paper is fairly transparent so that I can easily trace a design I had previously drawn. It is important that you use high quality art/tracing paper that doesn’t ‘ghost’ when you erase pencil marks. ‘Ghosting’ is a faint image of the original pencil artwork after it was erased or that the paper is physically affected by the erasing action.
  • When satisfied with the design, I inked-in the design with a black pigment pen. Make sure that the pen you use does not bleed/run every time you pause in the drawing process with the pen tip on the paper. A good ‘art-quality’ pen will not do this. I buy my pens from Dick Blick. Brands I use are: Pigma Micron, Staedtler Triplus Fineliner. I do not use Sharpie brand markers. The are called ‘pigment pens’ and are the same pens used by scrapbookers.
  • Erase away the pencil markings with an old-fashioned, pink or white (clean) pencil eraser.
  • Scan in the line scale drawing to digitize it as an image.

Settings: –Black and White (not grayscale)

–At least 300 dpi—you don’t want to go too crazy. Too much dpi (eg 1200) will create a huge file that takes a long time to save, open, edit, convert, etc. every time you work with/use it.

Save the image as a jpeg file of the highest quality.

  • Open the jpeg file in Photoshop.
  • I like to clean up my images by erasing any stray marks from background.
  • You can fill in ‘closed’ areas with grayscale or color. (eg. I create drawings of my tatting stitches as 2-D. Then I can fill in the centers with either 2 different colors to show that I have two different thread sources.)
  • Save again has a high quality jpeg file.
  • I like to leave my original file uncorrected and make a second file (‘Save As’) with my changes.