Here’s my first serious attempt to document my illustration process.
Everything starts with a sketch, the old-school way with pencil on paper. I started doing digital work almost 15 years ago but sketching on a computer somehow never feels natural to me.
When the sketch is done I scan it (well, take a picture with my phone camera), adjust the contrast/brightness in Photoshop (to compensate for the phone photo quality) and then manually trace it in Illustrator. Manually means outlining everything with a brush, there’s no plugin magic behind it, plus it’s the most enjoyable part of the process!
After tracing goes colouring – back to Photoshop. I try to keep everything in vector shapes – in case I’ll ever need a larger version of the image, I can easily scale it up. Adding volume – highlights and shadows is the last bit, may some extra effects, may be a bit of texture – and voila – The Octopus Bar is good to go.