You’ll learn handy tips for drawing in Flash, focusing on some essential drawing tools that make creating this artwork quick and simple. Starting with Flash’s unique Line tools, we take this tool a step further by converting lines to create fills for a comic book-style ‘focus lines’ effect.
You’ll also pick up tricks on maintaining visual clarity in a detailed black-and-white artwork. Feel free to embellish and add your own twists to the artwork as you create.
To make elements stand out more and to separate them from their surroundings, thicken the outline of all elements, select an element, copy (Cmd/Ctrl + C), and create a new layer underneath, Paste the element in place (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + V), increase the line size to your preference – I use 12pt for bear characters, and 15pt for the monster on top.
The artwork should be all inked up now – but you might feel that the colouring isn’t quite perfect yet. Let’s invert it. Select File > Export > Export to Image, and name it invert.ai. Open this file in Photoshop, and select Image > Adjustments > Invert. This trick is particularly useful for black and white images: you may find some parts work better this way than in the original, so adapt your Flash image accordingly.
Look for empty spaces – be creative, add some new elements to balance the positive and negative spaces. To create the metal pipes in middle, use the Line tool (N) to create some random pipe lines and increase the line size to 17pt. Convert the lines to fill, use the Ink Bottle tool (S) and click on the fills: this creates lines around the fill. You may want to import the PANDARA logo to your composition – it’s on the cover CD (pandara.eps).
Finish up by adding some textures – 8-bit video games are good source of inspiration for this art style. Materials rendering is usually flat and simple, yet it symbolises materials so well. Once this is all done, it’s a good idea to repeat the Photoshop Invert trick, play around, adjust it to your preference – and you’ll have a unique Hollow Threat artwork.
Who: New Zealand-based artist and designer Paul Shih is originally from Taiwan. His work is about events and characters, and is inspired by his surroundings. This artwork, Hollow Threat, is a recent project. He says it takes him back to his original love of drawing and doodling and helped him rediscover his love of music.
Software: Adobe Flash and Photoshop
Time to complete: 8-10 hours