I've been working out an idea today, which is a variation on my cartoon style, but instead of the usual ink, or digital, I'm doing it in black colored pencil and blue art sticks. The style I'm shooting for is reminiscent of the soft black & white children's book illustrations of the mid-century, such as those of the legendary, Syd Hoff. You might not think it, but one of the most important choices I've had to make to get the look I want is the choice of paper. To make a long story short, I did three versions on different types of paper to see which one looks the best. So now, without further ado, I present the three test versions.
#1 Charcoal Paper
#2 Cream Tinted Drawing Paper
#3 Cream Manila Drawing Paper
After playing the "Three Bears Game"—this one's too lumpy, this one's too smooth . . .—the one I'm happiest with is #3, the cream manila drawing paper. It's got a nice soft texture and an old school feel, you might even say an "antiqued" look to it. The funny thing is, that I found this paper at Goodwill, and parts of the top sheet were sun-faded, so it had obviously been around for a while. I'll probably never be able to find it again, in fact, after this test, I've only got 47 sheets of it left, which will be fine for this project, but what about the next one? I'll figure something out. If nothing else, I can always scan a blank piece of it and use as a texture for future digital art, so I'll at least be able to use it that way.