Robert Crumb is probably one of the really great illustrators of our time. So i thought it would be fun to start a specific Studio Artist challenge project oriented at trying to analyze and then recreate his specific stylistic approaches to illustration.

Again, the goal here is to use Studio Artist to create and solve the entire challenge effect. A fully automatic solution would be true genius. A manual technique or step by step recipe to produce the artistic stylings associated with the artist is also a totally acceptable solution to the challenge.

I picked a specific black and white Crumb illustration i have posted below to use as a specific example of his powerful illustration style for you to try and emulate using Studio Artist.

Someone here at the office thinks there is a pretty close relationship between Crumb's work and our previous ongoing challenge project involving the illustration work of Joseph Ciardiello. They seem very different to me, other people here feel they are similar.

So we're very curious about your own personal viewpoints as we try to analyze and break down the technical elements that work together to make a Crumb illustration work so well.

And once we do that, of course then the ultimate goal is to recreate those technical stylistic elements within Studio Artist to reproduce the particular aesthetic styling that make this artist so unique, and his work so powerful.

Feel free to include in your posts other example's of Crumb's artwork if you feel they would be useful to the discussion taking place in this particular challenge.

Good luck, let this new Studio Artist challenge begin.

We alluded a little while ago about possibly trying to introduce some actual physical prize element to our recent Studio Artist challenges. We hope to post some more specific information about that on the users forum soon.

I can say that the winner of any particular challenge is going to be the person who is most helpful and open at providing and sharing information here in the challenge forum posts that can lead other Studio Artist users to fully understand what is going on technically in the challenge example art work, and also most helpful at explaining how to approach duplicating those techniques using features available within Studio Artist.

The whole point of these challenge projects is for us to learn more about the technical elements that make up different artist's personal aesthetic stylings, and how to use Studio Artist to duplicate those effects. So we all learn more about art, and we all learn more about Studio Artist.

Of course the other point of these challenges is to help us here at Synthetik Software understand if we need to add new features to Studio Artist in order to successfully complete some of these challenges. Or if it's just something that is already easy (or difficult) to do with the existing tools available in the program today. And if the answer is difficult, then maybe we should figure out how to make it easier for people.

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The lazy factor is a big deal! For health reasons yes! (tho I suspect the prolonged act of making detailed hatching is a way to maintain a certain mental health - for many artists)

The time spent hatching however can become a serious problem - for instance so when every hatch line is directly connected to income or NO income. Basically - if you are not being paid to noodle (hatch) - don't noodle... Especially if you are hungry ; )

I have used SA to create a multi line look on occasion.

The ability to lay down sets of line in a single stroke is very handy.

Here are a couple examples:


line giant:

The attached image here was made with the Preset that was used for the outlines of the line giant and a variant of it that opens the lines out - responds to tilt. The hatch lines in the gramp image are similar to those in a set attached to the previous challenge related to caricature... And may be in a set of natural media options that come with SA.

The attached Presets were built for hand drawing. The character and choice of how lines work in hand drawing is a serious challenge to recreate as a more automated feature. Often choices made while hand drawing are personal, sometimes impractical (contrary to the "rules") and frequently accidental... Goofs that are ok (something SA is - can be good at)


still playing with auto sketches

Looks like maybe you want to invert whatever is modulating the line width in this last one?

I like what this promises...!

I am a fan of David Stone Martins work.

Whose line art and wash techniques - if an extension of his time - are a fascinating mix of gesture/contour delineation and massive grounding swatches of tone (often watercolor or ink wash)

Oddly difficult to find the kind of inner detail work I have seen of his work... Like the hand here.

A David Stone Martin Challenge would be something SA could perhaps do more effectively than a Crumb approach... Sadly both artists are to some degree "dated" looking... Imagine an Art Director actually using the kind of work either of those artists do (did) - in any modern publication.

Interesting. I was not familiar with David Stone Martin's work. I'll check it out.

This kind of inner detail work is starting to get into Albrecht Durer territory. Who would also make a really interesting and very difficult challenge project (his wood cuts and engravings are outstanding). The various LineScreen ip ops are real crude attempts at trying to emulate his art stylings. Or various features in the paint synthesizer associated with path start regionization were put in there to try and tackle emulating his work. I have a big book of Durer woodcuts and engravings i pull out from time to time to try and inspire me to come up with new features so that people can emulate what he did.

We could probably get a lot more sophisticated hatching by just adding a few additional feature options to existing areas of the program to better emulate this particular kind of fine detail hatching work. Like some more options in the Region Pattern Type when working with Path Start Regionization option for Path Type in the Path Shape control panel. Or just additional options in ip ops like the Linescreen ones, or something like Sketch Mass ip op.

Stone's old record cover artwork is in a totally different stylistic corner that the hatch detail you showed above.

Very cool (50's cool, or like something out of an early episode of MadMen), and very dated looking i guess. But you could probably rethink it and reconceptualize what he's doing in those album covers into a more modern concept.


I thought you might dig the old Jazz cover art that Stone Martin is apparently best known for.

The look is dated. Tho dated looks do have a following and are being revived in the schools... or Ateliers… Treading on thin ice here...

The "old" look and many old styles are being utilized today as "styles" - as a way to revive (at least superficially) something of the lost technical skill sets that were expected of illustrators and ad men of 50 years ago. Old is being revived - maybe to counteract some of the loss of a (still needed) class of skilled artists that resulted from the foundering and loss of value that commercial art and animation (fine art as well) has gone thru for decades. The "retro" thing is "in"... But it is a visual vocabulary of the past… While impressive and clever as the new practitioners are - the look(s) don't carry the meaning they did when originally in vogue.

However! Because "retro" is in and those styles are fascinating and are influencing artists (older ones too - myself getting there at this point) - finding ways to bring the merits of old styles out thru SA is pure goodness!

Of course treading some novel stylistic ground thru SA is ideal… But exploring older looks and being able to pull some of that power into the present day is invigorating.


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