The pen tool is one of those obscure graphics programs tools that everyone tries once, and then gets so confused by that they never get any further with it. And understandably. It looks like a fountain pen, but it doesn’t act like one. Click and “draw”, you get weird “handles” sprouting out from a dot. Ignore that, and some annoying rubber band line gets stuck to your pen tip, all distorted out of — not even a straight line! Right there most Illustrator users think to themselves “this program sucks”.
A cartoon illustration & design project for a friend’s party required the resulting art to be suitable for reproduction on a photocopy machine. After some trial, error, Google search, trial, error, Google search, trial, error I discovered the magic combo that allows you to create a halftone in Photoshop for an image and print it out on your inkjet printer so the art will be perfect for photocopying.
This technique is perfect for flyers, newsletters or any other short-run printing needs you have where the cheapness of a photocopy is desired, but so are grayscale images.
If you aren’t familiar with cartoonist Tom Richmond, make yourself familiar. This guy’s work is absolutely amazing. Very much in the style of Mort Drucker from MAD Magazine — only taken to the extreme. Not only is his cartooning & caricature style excellent, but his color work is also phenomenal. Tom graciously has taken the time to outline exactly how he digitally colors his artwork in Photoshop in a juicily-detailed three-post tutorial/how-to series on his cartooning blog.
Layer Masks are basically clipping masks that apply to the entire layer (Layer masks need to be sub-layers, and the top-most one at that). The best feature is that they can be locked, and they are not tied to one specific object, or cause an entire group of unrelated objects to become “grouped” as they are when applying a clipping mask to them. This allows you to work normally with all the other objects on other sub-layers while still getting that clipping mask effect.