On several occasions people have asked me how i create my illustrations. I'll always make a point to state that my work starts off as a hand drawing, because i think many people understandably imagine that it is digitally drawn using Adobe Illustrator or another such programme.
The truth is it would probably be a LOT easier if i produced work in this way, but the process i use naturally developed over time and now i'm too stuck in my ways to try something else.
Perhaps it stems from the many years of kicking against graphic software packages, before i realised that if I didn't take the step to use these new fangled technologies, I would quickly get left behind. Therefore it is only after I have the initial pencil drawing on paper that my illustrations move on screen to begin their digital life.
I thought i'd write a post to give people an insight into the process and some current work i'm producing for a competition conveys this process well.
Initial hand drawing (pencil on A4 paper):
Hand traced drawing in black fine liner. At this stage I will scan the image into Photoshop:
Following a long laborious process of essentially refining the scanned line and drawing with the mouse (which is what gave me tendonitis) it looks something like this:
Once I have the black outline exactly as I want it which can take between 3 - 8 hours (yikes!) depending on level of detail/size of illustration, i'll start adding colour and then move onto pattern and texture. Then lastly i'll add in the shading. The final illustration looks like this:
So now you know. Its a really long old process and i'm guessing not the most efficient, but the result is worth it (most of the time).
Thankfully i'm going on holiday tomorrow for 5 days, so i'll get a rest from slaving away on the Mac for a while. I absolutely can't wait to have a break, seeing as Christmas was the last time i had time off. WOO HOO!!