Trying out Photoshop

I’ve decided to move forward with making cartoons. Now there are a few problems with this: I can’t draw very well, I have never made cartoons before, I’m not particularly clever. To try and help solve the first problem I listed, I tried using Photoshop.

I have been using Photoshop since high school, so going into this little experiment I was fairly confident. I like to think I’m pretty good at making crazy photos, maybe not realistic ones but photoshopped pictures nonetheless (some examples).

My dog's head on the body of a man
My dog’s head on the body of a man

But this is the only type of photoshop experience I had, I didn’t know anything about creating entirely original images. At first I tried to start completely blank and use the tools available on Photoshop. This did not work. I couldn’t get the right look I wanted for my cartoons.

 

Next I decided to find generic images from the internet and modify them with my own captions or combine a few images to get the scene I wanted. This did not go that well either. Unless I found an image that was the exact setting I wanted and all I had to add was a caption, the images I created did not look good. It was difficult finding images online that were in a similar enough style that when I put them together, they looked like a cohesive image. Adding captions was the easiest part, although I didn’t put as much thought into them as I did trying to meld two or more images.

My dad on Air Force 1 with Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich
My dad on Air Force 1 with Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich

Next I decided to find generic images from the internet and modify them with my own captions or combine a few images to get the scene I wanted. This did not go that well either. Unless I found an image that was the exact setting I wanted and all I had to add was a caption, the images I created did not look good. It was difficult finding images online that were in a similar enough style that when I put them together, they looked like a cohesive image. Adding captions was the easiest part, although I didn’t put as much thought into them as I did trying to meld two or more images.

Going forward, I think I have two options. I can dedicate more time to looking for images that already

The future of the Buffalo Sabres, probably
The future of the Buffalo Sabres, probably

exist and using Photoshop to combines images and captions. I could do this, but it would take a lot of time and research. More likely, I will have to draw my own images then upload them to Photoshop to add captions. This will take time too, but this way I can be sure that the specific setting I want can be represented. Either way I have a lot of work ahead of me. Either way I will use Photoshop in some way. I found the font options very easy to use, so I m happy I found something I can use in my project.

Shannon Vail

I am a senior Art History major who thoroughly enjoys cooking, traveling, beagles and Buffalo sports.

2 thoughts to “Trying out Photoshop”

  1. Hi Shannon,
    I think using photoshop is a great idea for your project! I actually really liked the images you posted on this blog, and think it could definitely be effective. However, I agree that it would be time consuming to find all of the images you wanted to use. Also, I think there is something about the cartoon element of a political cartoon that really draws people’s attention to their satirical nature. Is there a way you could photoshop cartoon images? Perhaps taking elements from different cartoons and melding them to create the image you want? If not, I think hand-drawing your cartoons the old fashioned way will be effective as well. I’m sure there are templates you could trace if you’re worried about your artistic ability!

    Lauren

    1. I am very impressed with your photoshop skills. In other words, your photoshop skills are much better than mine. But I do think your skills show. I could not have displayed my “creations” on the blog without feeling humiliated. I was wondering if you thought of using bitstrip. I don’t actually know how it works, so this could be an unhelpful suggestion. Either way, I think if you did use photoshop, your comics would look good and if you drew them they would look good. Right now, I plan on drawing and uploading images to photoshop for final edits. So we’re kind of in the same boat. As someone who drew in high school, replication is the hardest part of drawing in my honest opinion. The little nuances that must be produced within the context of an image that shouldn’t really change takes a lot of a attention to detail. It could be very frustrating. But stick figure-like drawings could be your saving grace. Comics really are all about character so, either method is bound to have that in some way.

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