Wednesday, December 29, 2010

CommArts Update

I almost don't know quite what to do in the expanse between Christmas and New Year's. It's a bit a black hole set between two festive parties. I'm having to make myself remember that there are things that need to be done.

Like a blog post! :)

So I promised some updates on the illustration I'm working on for the Communication Arts Illustration annual, and here's a bit of the progress. The image I left you guys with was of the pencil work for the illustration, and I did some penwork on top of that to give some more definition. Lately, I've chosen to leave in the sketchy pencil lines in my illustrations, even if they're messy, because there's just something about that underlying work that I love. (Speaking of which, I saw Jim Lee's "Icons" book the other day, in which there is a ton of his sketchwork and process. Amazing stuff to look at.)

Meanwhile, here's my process, starting with scanned-in pencil and pen work.

I took it into photoshop and began laying down some flat colors, nothing too extensive. I use it as a base or foundation to work on top of.

After I got the color laid down, I started bringing in deeper colors and some texture. One of my most favorite ways to sketch is to use white and black colored pencils or charcoal on toned paper. You've already got the middle ground tones set, and all you have to do is lay down white and black sketchwork, working up your highlights and shadows. It's a bit of the same idea here, with those flat colors serving as the toned paper.

And then I worked up the highlights.

The image still isn't finished yet - I'm still tweaking things and getting into the nooks and crannies. To me, that's some of the hardest work in an illustration, because it's one of the most delicate parts of the process, as well as the part that separates the good illustrations from the great ones.

But for now? Lunch in the form of a burrito! (And not just in the form of a burrito, but made of burrito, too.)

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