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  • 1960s Illustration Techniques


    Above is an illustration from an Expo 67 Guide Book.

    I'm looking to capture those subtle variations in flat colour these types of illustrations had. Does anybody know a Photoshop or Illustrator filter that will achieve this?

    Also if there's anybody out there who knows what type of materials these original artists would have used, that would be great.

  • #2
    A filter? Seriously?? Nope.

    But you can do it by hand in Illustrator using either blends or the gradient mesh tool...

    Originally posted by neildono View Post
    Also if there's anybody out there who knows what type of materials these original artists would have used, that would be great.
    Yeah, their hands.
    Professional Pixel Pusher Designing the world around you. | Working daily to reach 10,000 hours of practice.

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    • #3
      My assumption would be paint - perhaps trying gouache would be worth trying out.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by CkretAjint View Post

        Yeah, their hands.
        You're hilarious!!
        Haven't posted here before. If this is the level of reply, I won't be back.

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        • #5
          Well you are asking for an easy button for something that was create pre-computers. Besides I gave you the answer in the first sentence.

          If you don't have a funny bone, I don't think you will like the rest of this forum has to offer...
          Professional Pixel Pusher Designing the world around you. | Working daily to reach 10,000 hours of practice.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by CkretAjint View Post
            If you don't have a funny bone, I don't think you will like the rest of this forum has to offer...
            to a completely new poster who is just looking at words on a screen, a nice everyday forum member trying to be funny can easily come off as sarcastic and condescending.

            in any case neil, there are plenty of photoshop filters for pre-computer art styles, but in my experience they don't normally produce anything like what you're hoping for. if i were trying to make something like this on the computer i'd experiment with different brushes and adjustment layers, but there may be better ways

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            • #7
              Illustration board hot pressed, kolinsky sable brushes Winsor newton paints, pencils various leads and try vellum for transparency. You will have to have a drafting table, T-square and set squares if your are going to go "retro" you will need "retro" tools. Entirely not digital unless you can master that with photoshop and emulate the effects from a traditional context.

              http://www.winsornewton.com/
              "After all is said and done, more is said than done."
              Aesop

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              • #8
                You could redo this in Illustrator I think pretty simply. Not "easy button" simple. But I don't think it would require any mesh work at all. I would get all your vector shapes drawn with a pen tool, then you could just play with transparencies.

                To give it that yellow-y, classic old feel (texture) you could overlay the entire piece in transparent gradients, yellows etc. Think layers and you could definitely redo this in illy. Even flatten and bring into PS for finishing touches.

                Definitely flatten it when you are done though.
                "You're just jealous because YOUR hat doesn't have a clock in it!"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by neildono View Post
                  I'm looking to capture those subtle variations in flat colour these types of illustrations had. Does anybody know a Photoshop or Illustrator filter that will achieve this?


                  By subtle tones (as in the browns for instance) those can be done by Brush work and/or using the Pen tool.
                  As for the 60's textures, those can be simply done by using various Noise filter brushes.
                  As shown in my image, I created slight variations of Noise filter brushes for each element in the image's composition with and applied a very slight Gaussian blur.

                  If you need help creating Noise filter brushes let me know.

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                  • #10
                    Definitely flatten it when you are done though.
                    AAAaahhh. Don't flatten it when you are done! Not in Illy and not unless your monitor is calibrated for the printer it is being output on. While you might send it out as a flattened tif (and that may be the only way to print a monstrosity with a ton of over-transparencies), you may want to include an editable version or at least keep one in case a color goes ballistic. Depends on your deadline and how much you trust your printer.

                    The originals were definitely done by hand probably in much the way MikeHun describes.
                    I don't think I'd use Illy blends unless the artwork was going to stay small forever. Blends have a nasty habit of stairstepping when enlarged or welded. Gradient Meshes have problems all their own too but offer smoother transitions.
                    No easy button.
                    Sorry

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                    • #11
                      Yeah PD I should have clarified that. I always REsave the flattened file with a _flat added to the file name. I fell for the other blunder...once. It only takes once.
                      "You're just jealous because YOUR hat doesn't have a clock in it!"

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                      • #12
                        i agree with dangermouse....plus you could try feathering or blurring the overlays and experiment with transparency. Avoid gradient mesh for this project

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                        • #13
                          Hi neildondo , another way to create your images would be to look at your swatch pallette some of the colour processes work better for newspaper , or magazine finishes , you might want to try this with certain paper types to recreate your illustration , gradient meshes are okay but I think the paper type is what you should be looking at for your finished print .

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                          • #14
                            1960s illustration

                            I love this late 50s - mid 60s illustration style... that angular idealized American family life. Does anyone know of books or sources to learn more. I want to begin collecting these. Is there a formal, common name for this style?

                            Thanks!

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