Captain Sulu & Outmoded Art Mediums

WOKSulu

In the rush to embrace digital rendering techniques the illustration industry discarded some pretty cool methods and mediums.¬† This portrait of a Wrath of Khan/Undiscovered Country era Captain Sulu was made using Radiograph pens and Kraft-tint paper, both of which have fallen into disuse. You might find the pens but the paper hasn’t been sold or even manufactured for about ten years.

Kraft-tint was the favorite of editorial cartoonists the world over for its ability to capture subtle half-tone shades. The paper was actually printed with two sets of  invisible half-tone lines and was sold with two types of developer:

  • Brush on developer “A” and one set of half-tone lines would appear, giving you about a 20% shade
  • Brush on developer “B” and the other set of lines would appear giving you a 40-50% half-tone shade

The only draw-back was price – which I don’t remember other than it was steep for a freelancer just starting out. Looking back I would have pawned something to lay in a supply but the adage “Hindsight is 20/20 vision” is as true with illustrators as anyone else.

…and yes, this image is not “square” to the format. The original disappeared long ago and I suspect this copy wasn’t cropped correctly.