The Eraser toot Cleaning up your art digitally

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One of the great things about working with art in the digital age is that you can modify your art using the computer in ways you never could before. The ability to modify your artwork on the computer helps produce clean, crisp art. The Eraser tool in Photoshop is one of these great tools that make your job a lot easier.

After you scan in your artwork you may find smudges, smeared lines, or other imperfections in your line art. These types of imperfections have a way of becoming even more noticeable when the art is reprinted, at which point it's too late to clean it up.

The old way of cleaning up your art required you to erase all your pencil lines after the ink dried so that these small lines wouldn't show up when your cartoon was reprinted. Typically, a cartoonist would sketch out the drawing with light pencil lines and then move to the final phase of the drawing known as inking. Using the light pencil sketch as a guide, the artist would either take a pen, nib, or brush and go over the pencil lines, creating a nice crisp final drawing.

After the ink dried, the cartoonist would erase the light pencil lines. Artists have done this for several hundred years of newsprint production, and it generally works pretty well, except for the following problems:

✓ It can be messy with all the little shavings that are produced as a result of the erasing.

✓ You may get some ink smearing.

✓ You risk lightening up the art by causing your inked lines to fade.

✓ It can take some time to get rid of all the pencil lines depending on the complexity of your drawing.

Using the Eraser tool effectively can streamline the process of cleaning up your art. One thing that I suggest is to use a nonphoto blue pencil for sketching instead of using a dark pencil. Anything drawn with nonphoto blue pencil isn't picked up by the scanner, and you won't have to waste time erasing anything.

To use the Eraser tool, follow these steps:

1. Click on the toolbar icon that looks like an eraser, as in Figure 15-4.

Doing so changes your cursor into an eraser.

2. Adjust the size or diameter of the tool to very large or very small.

If you have a lot of erasing to do, you may need to enlarge your Eraser tool so that it covers more area. To do this, choose the diameter setting from the brush palette. You can either choose one of the sizes listed or create your own size by manually adjusting the diameter size by moving the size adjusting arrow up or down.

3. Erase any unwanted lines, spots, or other imperfections that aren't supposed to be part of the original art.

Figure 15-4:

Editing and erasing in the computer is easy and efficient.

Figure 15-4:

Editing and erasing in the computer is easy and efficient.

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