This is incredible! I haven't seen an official Illustration this well perserved in Dubtone paper that it actually brings a tear to my eye! As unfortuante it is that the digital age brought an end to this glorious era of printed press. Such is the way of technology. In any case with your premission I'd like to give this a splash of digital color. I would print it and do it manually but my entire supply of colored Prisma colored pencils and copic markers were stolen.
The processs? Alas, Mill...the special paper I used to do my West End work is no longer being produced. So THAT part of the process is beyond your reach. But I'm sure you can lay in similar shading patterns using digital tools. At any rate, the rest of the process is standard: visualize the scene...put pencil to paper...inks with pen and brush...WHAMMO! There it is. *smile*
Hmm. I greatly prefer traditional methods to digital, but I suppose I could try it in Inkscape or Paint.NET. Out of curiosity, is there a paper similar to what you used to use for these drawings? And did you really lay out all those lines, or was there a template?
All the major shading...is actually the paper itself, Mill. It was called Unishade paper. The shading pattern is imbedded in the paper's surface, and is "developed" by applying a chemical fluid. Using a brush, I simply developed the shading pattern only where I wanted it to be.
Huh! Pretty cool! Now I *really* wish they still made that paper. That explains why the lines were always so even; I assumed it was a practiced hand. But I suppose it would have taken far longer to complete a drawing, holding production back, if that were the case.
Lol, all this talk is making me want to go dig through my "closet 'o doom" and find my old books, then hit up Amazon and eBay for the ones I never got around to buying (still kicking myself for missing the Darkstryder Campaign; I heard that was a really cool adventure).
My question shall always be - how come the old Stormtroopers can only blast protocol droids and jawas - they must have some reservations about hitting humans. Great piece - is the shading called letra-tone or something like that, Michael? I remember buying some back in the early 90s to experiment on some comic art at the time. They basically were transfers that you applied to the image.
I believe you're thinking of zip-tone. A peel-and-stick shading film. I used that stuff quite a bit in my early work for West End, but it was so time consuming to apply that I decided to lay out a little more cash and buy Unishade and Duotone paper from a place in Ohio. The paper was imprinted with a dot or line pattern that was almost invisible to the eye. A developing liquid was applied to the areas you wanted the pattern to show...and voila. Instant shading! Fast...and total control. It was cutting edge at that time. A time before digital programs.
You're right, David. Unishade and Duotone paper WAS a good product. Sadly it is no longer being produced. The advent of digital programs that can give the same effect spelled the inevitable end of these cool papers.