I’ve received a couple of questions on how I go about working on my illustrations so I decided to write a brief summery on the topic. Please note that there are many professionals that work in a similar fashion, and there are also many others that work completely different. There is no right or wrong, just personal preferences.
Although each project runs the gamut, the constant factor lies within traditional core foundations. Everything I create begins its life either as a drawing, a painting or both. This then becomes the groundwork for the computer.
On that note, I must insist to point out that there is a certain amount of care involved when working with a computer. There is a fine line that is easily crossed where the computer can become more than a tool, and consume the sincerity and integrity of the work. Many beginners tend to make this mistake, using filters and canned effects to facilitate their needs. Avoid this as much as possible. Also, I highly recommend using a Wacom tablet. If you have the means, an Intuos 3 is an amazing tool; but the Graphire is also a good choice if you want to be more economical. I use a Graphire… (ehh..for now :))
Each one of these portraits were done under 24-hour period. I was given the assignment at 9 a.m. and had until 6 p.m. to finish and upload via FTP to the printer’s server. It was a little nerve racking but it was a good challenge.
Rendering the drawing well is important because it sets the values throughout the process. This allows me to concentrate more on color because the drawing if done correctly keeps the values honest.
The image is scanned and colored in Photoshop. I use stock brushes with the opacity set to 10-50 percent depending on how solid I want the color to be applied. I build up the color slowly but surely, getting more and more opaque as I work until it evolves to my liking (this is very similar to traditional oil painting). I then finish it off Mr. Mike Wallace by tracing specific outlines using a vector program like Illustrator to get the crisp and clean edges.
This is Dan Rather
And this one is Danny Goldberg