KraftTone Livestream + Q&A Recap

On Friday the 22nd of October 2021 we hosted a live drawing session and Q&A on Instagram Live. The session featured NYC based illustrator Johnny Dombrowski demonstrating our KraftTone Comic Color Formula Brushes. 

As a master of pre-digital comic aesthetics and the talent behind of our KraftTone visuals, Johnny is the real deal when it comes to replicating vintage comic color digitally. If you tuned in, asked a question or sent a virtual high five, we salute you, but in case you missed it, enjoy the complete session and Q&A below. 


Here are some key topics covered by our creative director Andrew in the comments during the livestream session.

Q: Do the Affinity and Procreate versions work the same as Photoshop?

A: In Affinity, the process is identical. In Procreate, the only difference is that the color swatches are not embedded in the brushes so you have to select your brush then select the corresponding C, M, Y or K color swatch before applying it to your canvas. Check out the Affinity and Procreate process here.  


Q: Can you change the scale of the halftone patterns?

A: Absolutely. It's very easy to do and we include easy-to-follow instructions in the included user guides and video tutorials.


Q: How do you figure out which colors to use? 

A: In the video Johnny's freestyling it, but the kit comes with a quick-reference formula guide which details the combination of brushes used to create all 374 colors in the system. We've also included a set of solid swatches which can be used to pre-visualize your colors before rendering them in the finished halftone color formulas.


Q: What's the purpose of the Pressure Tint brushes?

A: The Pressure tints are perfect for creating gradients or a bit of variation in your color, especially in large areas like backgrounds and sky. They're also great for replicating some of the plate pressure inconsistencies that would occur in pre-digital comics.


Q: Can you combine the line brushes with the dot brushes to create a color formula?

A: For sure. As long as the brush scale is set to the same %, you can use them interchangably. Infact, dot/line combinations were a common feature of golden age comics.


Q: How did pre-digital colorists traditionally use line tints?

A: Line tints have their origin in Lithographic printing in the late 1800's but were less common than dots until the late 1930's. As the Benday dot-based color system grew in popularity in the early 1900's, "cheated" lines were often used as workarounds to solve press issues or create colors and gradient effects that couldn't be created with dots alone.

Colorists would "fake" lines by repeating their dot sheets manually with slight adjustments so that the dots blended to form a composite line.

Eventually, color-system manufacturers developed line-screen tints to cater to the changing needs of professional colorists and publishers.

For the most comprehensive history of pre-digital comic printing you'll ever read, check out Legion Of Andy's detailed 9 part comic history series


Q: What's the best way to apply the ink effects brushes.

A: In the interest of demonstrating quickly, Johnny is applying the effects brushes in white directly onto the color layers. On important artworks, we recommend using layer masks to create your ink effects to ensure that your original layers remain in tact ready to be screen-printed or edited as needed. We cover this process in detail in the included video tutorials.


Q: What's the difference between KraftTone and Debaser? 

A: This comes up a lot so we've covered it in a detailed comparison article on our support site. 


Get KraftTone Here.