For those of you who are curious about my working methods, here's a walk-through of my recent illustration for The Indypendent.
Keep in mind that I don't have a "fixed" system. Every assignment's different - eg. full-color versus black and white, hand-painted versus digital, etc etc. But below is an example of my general process.
1. I read the text and got a sense of the messages conveyed in the story. (Sometimes the full text isn't ready so an outline or synopsis is all I have to work from.)
With those ideas in mind, I sketched this little dinger. Usually I'll do a series of sketches - four to five or more if I can't "get it right." But considering I only had a couple of days to do this illo, I went with the first idea. (I strongly suggest doing multiple sketches before moving onto the final.)
Most of my "thinking" is done at this point. I look for strong composition and draftsmanship.
2. I plunged into pencils. I went online and used five reference pictures of Bloomberg to make sure I got his likeness. (Note: use multiple references to avoid legal troubles.)
I changed the head's angle so the reader can see his face more.
Though I did most of my thinking at the sketch phase, I still modify things as I move along the process. Surprises can be cool but too many of them can make your final look like a hot mess.
3. Using a couple of brushes, acrylic ink and a micron pen, I inked the bugger.
Any modifications at this point are nominal. Eg, extra hatching in various spots.
4. I scanned it in, cleaned up any blemishes, erased a stray line at the bottom and bumped up the contrast.
With the illo clean, I digitally added grays and sent the final to the designers.
And here it is.
Again, I don't have a "regular system" for doing illustrations. (Recently I've incorporated tracing paper into my illustrations. More on that some other time.)
But I always use the a) think and sketch, b) pencil and modify, and c) ink and finish process for my illustrations.
Hope you had as much fun placating my ego as I did. :)
© Frank Reynoso, Nov. 2008, All Rights Reserved