Playing with Images

Do you ever get stuck thinking what to draw? This week I made four line art images with red elements. They were created on A6 postcards. I could then play with these images by drawing around the A6 images on A3 pieces of paper to try to create different variations of image, but with the same base elements included.

Here are the images I created.

How I made these images
After drawing the postcards, I scanned them into the computer and removed the backgrounds in Photoshop by going Image > Adjustments> Brightness/Contrast… and upping both to make the background very white. Then, I went Select > Colour Range… and clicked on the white background with the eye dropper tool that appears to select all white areas. I then deleted the background (command + X on Mac) to leave only the line art. I then went Image > Adjustments> Brightness/Contrast… again, and turned the brightness all the way down to bring back the intensity of the black lines. I added the red colour digitally on a layer underneath, then exported the images as png files.
Because they are png files, they have no background and are totally transparent, besides the red elements and the black lines. Because of this, I can colour under them in Photoshop or Procreate as I like, and easily combine them into any image.

The images I made were created using Staedtler Black Fineliner drawing pens. The pens are water-resistant and can be painted over. To give my images a sense of consistency, I added red elements to each one.

I tried to put some feeling into these pictures – especially the last two. By creating images with character, it’s easier to combine them in narrative. Who is this man? Why is this house so run-down? This format encourages us to answer questions and problem-solve.

I can now use these images to create variations in any way that I want.
The nice thing about this exercise is that it frees you up to experiment. You can try, change, re-scale and duplicate as much as you like.
Give it a go, and see what you create!