Thanks Bruce,                            I just wanted
to add that using greyish drafting film is part of the problem and put
in a plug for clay-coated paper.This does not seem to be used much in
the US but it's good stuff. It can only be bought in quantity from a
paper merchant. It's used for printing high-quality magazines and has
a thin white clay coating. It's transparent enough to trace outlines
on a light box and allows one scrape for easy corrections or even
scratchboard style drawing. I did this drawing of the Australian giant
cockroach (the heaviest cockroach in the world) on
[1] Mostly I used to use it for simpler drawings like these. [2]We
used to liken it to a poor person's scratchboard. Because it has to be
bought in quantity by the time you want to order more the old brand is
usually unavailable and you have to ask for samples to try out. Paper
merchants will usually send these if you ring and describe the sort of
paper you want to try. Lighter weights trace better on the light box.
I do my pencil on tracing paper and tape it to the clay-coated paper
with removable tape. Use a number 2 scraping tool or a curved scalpel
blade to scrape shallowly for corrections.We used to get the minimum
order cut into A4 or A3 size pieces and that would be a few
years'supply for less than $200. The prices may have risen since then

----- Original Message -----
From: "SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration-" 
Sent:Mon, 29 Jul 2013 07:03:57 -0400
Subject:Re: [SCIART] Processing pen and ink stippled illustrations

For this particular application Levels would be the better adjuster
tool, as both Taina and Geoffrey noted.  Levels also has a gamma
adjustment (the center button) that controls contrast.  This can also
help clean up the gray.  (With applications having a plethora of tone
and/or color values, Curves is much better.   And in fact, if you
use Curves a lot you can do the same with that tool.  Just slide the
end points in or out, which is the same as the black and white sliders
on Levels;  for a gamma adjustment, grab the center of the straight
line and pull it into a curve one way or the other.)

If your scanner has adjustments, those can help as well.  Set the
scan to produce a straight line and move the (very similar) levels
adjustments before scanning.

It's a perpetual problem getting a white background to look evenly
white in a scanned or photographed image.  I'm sure I'm not alone in
having given up in frustration more than once and just used a Magic
Wand selection (or Color selection or similar), cleaned up the edges
here and there at high magnification, then deleted the selection to
white.  It takes time, but does work.


On Sun, Jul 28, 2013 at 10:37 PM, Taina Litwak  wrote:
Hi - I do more or less what Geoff does.  Curves I find a total pain
to control.  Never use them.  Once the image is processed, I reduce
the dpi and save at 600.  The scientific journals here in the states
seem happy with the 600 dpi grayscale TIFF files. They print
consistently well in my experience.  Mirka's method sounds good too

 Taina Litwak
 Litwak Illustration Studio
 13029 Chestnut Oak Drive
 Darnestown, MD  20878

 tel: 301-527-0569
 mobile: 240-750-9245

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Bruce Bartrug
Nobleboro, Maine, USA
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The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but
because of those who look on and do nothing.  - Albert Einstein  


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