Dear Abby… I Mean Denny

December 3, 2007

Scanner1…Mustek ScanExpress A3 USB Scanner…

Scanner2

…Photoshop on a 600 year old tube monitor…

This is an outtake of an e-mail I recently received…

Dennis,
I need some advice; I do pen and inks and work with colored pencil…what tools should I get and or what programs should I know to make my artwork more publisher friendly. I can’t just send originals in the mail. Should I have a scanner? If so, which one? What size?…how should I go about doing this?
-Jon

I’m going to answer this here thinking it may be of some interest to others.

Basically, I think you can get by with two things here, Jon. A flatbed scanner and Photoshop software.

I use a Mustek ScanExpress A3 USB scanner. At around $150 to $200, I’m pretty sure it’s the cheapest, large format scanner on the market and that’s why I’ve got one. It’s easy to use and plugs into your computer with a usb cable. If you read the reviews on it, some people love it and some people really, REALLY hate it. I like it just fine because it was really, REALLY cheap to buy. Plus, I never send raw scans to anybody, anyway. I always adjust my art in Photoshop before I send it.

Photoshop is pretty much the industry standard as far as artwork manipulation programs go. You can adjust the color and size of your work, add things, delete stuff, correct problems… most anything you want to do, Photoshop can do it. A new version of Photoshop will run around $300 to $400.

Now here’s the cool thing… if you get a cheap Mustek scanner like I’ve got, it includes an older version of Photoshop to run it with… mine did anyway. So for a couple of hundred dollars you can be set up with a functional scanner to get your artwork into your computer, and Photoshop to adjust your images and get them out of your computer and onto a disc.

The Comments

Doug Jones

does the Muskox scanner work on your old PC or on your cheese grater?

Dennis Jones

…(I believe you must be working with some inside information on this question)… when I got my Muskox Scanner, Mac had JUST come out with OS X and the scanner was not compatible with that new system… so I use my old PC to operate the scanner and shoot the files over to my Mac via an ethernet cable… PC and Mac living in harmony, just like the TV commercials… however, since that time the NEW Muskox Scanners work with later Mac operating systems… I’ve been thinking, hey, for a hundred and fifty bucks, I could get a new scanner that plugs directly into my Mac and retire the old PC for good…

Dennis Jones

…I forgot to add this in my post… you will also need a good chair… here is the chair I use… as you can see I have customized it with a foam mat and rope…

curious

do you still sleep on rubber sheets?

Don Jones

I am speechless. I just listened to a Audio CD titled “The Millionaire Next Door.” It proceeded to describe the REAL skinny on them rich folks and the word that kept coming up was FRUGAL. After deeper analysis and contemplation of Den’s post above, I believe Dennis has a net worth well into the 7 figure range.

Dennis Jones

…that or I spent all my money on cat toys and now don’t have two nickels to rub together..

Jason Bourne

I don’t have any of the latestbsoftware,I just use the paint program that came on the computer. I use to scan things,only now I just draw with the mouse…. I know practice is a major factor.

James Zazas

Hey big “D”…. When you scan your paintings into PhotoShop, do you have to break up your Illustration into different Layers in order to colorize or put highlights in them? Have a Blessed Day dude and trust our Lord will forgive your Brother for all they’ve done to you. 🙂 James

Don Jones

Den, that last post makes you sound like the poor, picked on, helplessly abused and bullied brother. I guess he saw the videos of you and the dresses.

Dennis Jones

…mom always did like you two best…

James- when I scan a traditional painting into photoshop the painting is already pretty much a done deal… basically all I do is adjust the levels, adjust the saturation, and adjust the size to make sure it fits the layout… that’s about it…

…on the other hand, when I generate a painting IN photoshop, I have layers all over the place…

Jon Slone

Thank you Dennis! One more question Mr. Saturday. How easy is it to learn photo shop? When you’re done with the final product, is THAT the original? The one that’s been altered in the computer? Sincerly, Payton Manning

Dennis Jones

Hey Jon…

(1) …how easy is Photoshop…

…I would say that starting from ground zero, Photoshop has a fairly steep learning curve, but it’s a professional program, is commonly used in the industry and you really need to know how to run it…

…the good news is, you don’t have to master the entire thing to be able to run it… to do the typical stuff I use it for on a job, I’m probably only using about 2% of what the entire program can do…

…so if you can just get down the basics and master 2 or 3 tools, you’ll be on your way with it… I honestly am learning new stuff everyday in Photoshop and I’ve used it for years…

(2) …is the Photoshop document the “original”?

…if I understand your question correctly, the answer is, yes… when I do a job, I still do a traditional painting first… I scan it into the computer, Photoshop it up a little bit and that becomes the “original” that is sent to the publisher. I keep the traditional artwork, the publisher gets the digital file…

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Blue Monster

December 6, 2007

BluMonster

Another quick digital color sketch. They say you can’t get any worse with practice, but I’m not so sure about that.

The Comments

Jason Bourne

Interesting,looks like somethingnthat would be in Jabbas Palace…

Don Jones

Hey Dennis, How much snow’s up there?

Roballoo

Cool. I like how you keep experimentin’ with the digital tools. Your skilz are improving (and your complaints are lesseining – at least online.).

Pete’s Picture

December 13, 2007

PetePicture

My youngest son, Pete, did an accounting internship at a local business here in town last summer. One day while he was waiting for his work to arrive, he scratched out this picture and emailed it to me… or should I say, at me. Yes, this is a caricature of me in all my glory. I colored it and sent it back to him… then we both got back to work.

The Comments

Doug Jones

love the nose hairs… I see you are now sportin’ an ear ring, eh?

Dennis Jones

…yes, and catching flies with my tongue…

Dennis Jones

…a close-up of the end of the tongue…

Doug Jones

we all KNEW about catching flies… but the ear ring is something new…

Don Jones

Doug, I’ve got a self piercing ear kit ready and waiting for us at the Brother Jones Year-End Christmas Sale and Bash.

Roballoo

Um, shouldn’t that be Ear-End Christmas Sale and Bash?

Battle Bear

December 14, 2007

BattleBear

I’ve always liked the concept of animals in human apparel doing human stuff… to me, that seems to work every time I see it…

The Comments

Don Jones

I’m lovin’ this end-of-the-year illustration clearance blog.

Doug Jones

everything is 25% off…. Dennis is half off…

Nick Jones Everybody

hey that’s really coo…. WAIT A MINUTE! I THOUGHT WE WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO SUPPORT THE GOLDEN COMPASS…. I feel so deceived…

Dennis Jones

…man, I was Christmas shopping in Ft. Wayne all day… you can tell I don’t get out much because I was driving all over town tonight with my car lights turned off… and here I thought everybody was just real friendly up there and waving at me…

Don Jones

We awoke this morning to our 5 – 10 inch snow forecast and ended up with only RAIN. Meteorologist losers.

Roballoo

Reminds me of that Samurai bear from a few months back. Any relation?

Brown Dog

December 10, 2007

Dogthing

Hey, look! It’s a brown dog! Well, whattaya know about that! A brown dog! Yep, that’s a brown dog alright.
Ok, that’s about two lines of text, I’m done…

The Comments

Jason Bourne

That is a cool dog. It looks like an old photograph. Very unique…

Don Jones

Let’s talk weather Good lookin’ mutt… Chiefs are horrendous…

Shiro

You are such a talented dude! I wish I could draw like you!

Doug Jones

speaking of weather… today our high will be 74 degrees. really puts you in the Christmas mood. It’s all Algore’s fault…

EndOfTheYear Blowout Special!

December 11, 2007

Swordmouse

That’s right folks, we are smack dab in the middle of the 1st Annual Brother Jones, Every Things Has Gotta Go, End Of The Year, BLOWOUT SPECIAL!!! …(extra exclamation points for excitement!!!)

I’m opening the door to my computers experimental art folder and if there’s a crummy piece of artwork in there that has never seen the light of day, I’m posting it on Brother Jones this week NO MATTER HOW BAD IT IS! We’re blowing them right out the door…. and a lot of these really do blow! Everyday, something new, while supplies last! Look fast, because tomorrow these dogs may be gone forever!

The Comments

Don Jones

Admire before 8 a.m. and get another 10% OFF!!

Dennis Jones

Wow! I didn’t know we were doing that! This is even better than I thought!

Don Jones

Use your Brother Jones VISA and TAKE yet ANOTHER 10% OFF!

Dennis Jones

…needing a unique Christmas gift idea? Name a piece of crummy Dennis Jones digital art after a loved one… we will put your loved ones name in our custom name registry and send you a fabulous certificate that you can give to that special person to let them know how truly special they are to you…
truly the gift that keeps on giving…

Doug Jones

dang… wish I had thought of that idea!

Dennis Jones

…well Doug, it’s not too late for you to purchase an art name for a loved one… I can get one all set up for you, no problem…

Jason Bourne

YES! This is the way to go out. Cats and dogs and lilly frogs… Keep’em coming!

Don Jones

I drew Doug’s name for Christmas. Den, fix me up with something REAL nice for Douger.

Doug Jones

maybe I can do the same kind of blowout thing next week… but it would have to be scribbles I retrieve outta the trash can…. wonder if I can get a registry goin for a name on a piece of trash…

Douger

December 12, 2007

GrnMonster

Little brother Don’s comment on yesterday’s post…

“I drew Dougs name for Christmas. Den, fix me up with something REAL nice for Douger.”

…cha CHING!

The Comments

Don Jones

He is going to absolutely love this little gift on the official Brother Jones Star registry.

Dennis Jones

…let’s keep this secret ‘till Christmas so Doug will be really surprised!

Jason Bourne

Neato freto! Most exuberant! Spalacious and excellenta! I need to learn how to do that.

Doug Jones

….huh… wha…? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…..

Doug Jones

I am listening to Christmas music on the radio as I work… IF I HEAR KENNY G ONE MORE TIME… I AM GOING BESERK!!!

Don Jones

The correct phrase is more like, “I’M GONNA PUKE!!” We’re already beserk.

Dennis Jones

…I’ll tell ya what you need to dial up to get into the Christmas mood, Doug… a little DENNY G and the WeaselBoys…

Jason Bourne

And watch those Christmas stop motion animated TV shows… Can’t go wrong there.

Hey Kids!

December 19, 2007

RainDear

“Look at the rain, Dear!”

Hey kids… I heard on the news that an airline pilot spotted Santa’s sleigh on it’s way in from New York City!

…you serious, Clark?

The Comments

Don Jones

This classic triangular composition is obviously something you recall from one of your Diane Strickland art history classes.

Dennis Jones

…well, if I’m recalling anything it must be a dream I had because I sat on the back row of that class so I could lean my head on the wall and sleep when she turned the lights out to show those slides…

Jason Bourne

Now we’re in the right mood. I can almost hear “Silver Bells” playing in the background…

Don Jones

I like that dementia Christmas tune “I Think I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

Doug Jones

Dennis… are you signaling our annual quote fest? Here is mine… Eddie: I don’t know if I oughta go sailin’ down no hill with nothin’ between the ground and my brains but a piece of government plastic. Clark: Do you really think it matters, Eddie?

Dennis Jones

-well, it is tradition here at Brother Jones you know…

Don Jones

Aunt Bethany: Do you hear it? It’s a funny squeaky sound. Uncle Lewis: You couldn’t hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant!

Jeff

Mrs. Claus is stylin’ with her leg warmers… good work Dennis

Roballoo

Merry Christmas to all of my fellow Bro. Jonesers. Many thanks for enlivening my days over the past year with your pitter-patter. Thanksers again.

Doug Jones

Although we DO appreciate your kind words, Roballoo, Cash is even better! 20s and 50s are fine. :o) Oh… and a big Murray Christmas right back at you!

Don Jones

Doug, I just missed you yesterday by about 5 minutes down in Mtn. Grove. I had to make a trip to Wal-Marts in Mtn. Grove to pick up a Nintendo… they were the only store in SW MO that had any. Mom thought you had come back for something… Merry Christmas little fella!

Jason Bourne

Merry Christmakkah to all… and to all good night/day.