Which has totally never been done before and I am not a hack at all. Now that that’s out of the way, I’m going to be using the gift art piece I did for Our as the example since I actually took the time to document each step.
1.) Base Sketch
Basically a glorified doodle I did while at work on a very slow day to get down the basic idea that was in my head. I used the highlighter to put down the basic shapes then hashed them out with a pen I had on me. With no pencil in sight, this was the only option I really had at the time.
The step where I figure out the characters actual pose, and how shit works. I scan the sketch into the computer, open it up in Photoshop, then let all hell break loose. This is the longest part of the process because I basically fidget and fiddle with the tiniest details until I find what I want. Because I’m very detail oriented I want it to look perfect. This takes a while.
3.) Frustration Alleviation
When I get really frustrated with the character and whatever the hell is bugging me about them I focus on something else, like the background. There were actually four different versions of the swirly wind stuff I used before settling on this particular design (This…this comes up later. God). I spend some time on if before moving back to the character to finish them off.
4.) Character Pose/Clothing
After figuring out awesome things like proportions and how bodies can or can’t bend - I use reference to get the clothing and features right, while also making small modifications to the proportions that I didn’t notice before. In doing this I also realize that I spent way too much time on a torso that would eventually be covered up by a giant poncho anyway. I do things like that A LOT.
5.) Putting it all together
With all of the elements done to my satisfaction (before printing it out and inking it), I put them all together to see what the final product will look like once it’s finished.
… Only to realize it looks way too busy and crowded for my tastes. I’ve got a basic idea in my head of how this is going to look once it’s coloured, and while the frame looks awesome - it doesn’t jive (IE I have no idea how to make it work) with the scheme I want to go with.
So! Despite working on that damn frame for at least an hour to figure out what would look the best in the overall, I sacrifice it to the vengeful Gods of Composition.
And viola. This is what I print out. Before doing that, though, I lightened and coloured the lines to a pale blue that can be edited out later in Photoshop once the inking is complete (which you’ll see in the next part). Now, there’s totally a tangent (where two lines meet each other) happening where the scarf meets a tree in the background, which ends up flattening the piece. That’s something I’ll fix when I ink this sucker. Look for those Thrilling! and Exciting! steps in Part 2 of In Which I Explain My Process!