Adobe Illustrator is my software of choice for producing Cartoon character artwork. It is a Vector based drawing program which allows for infinite scalability without the resolution issues of bitmap based drawing programs
This illustration for the Australian publication That’s Life which features readers true life stories and was a fun one to do. It was completed and approved within a few of days of receiving the commission. That’s what I love, fast turnarounds!
The brief on this one, was to show a mother preparing dinner in the kitchen, while at the same time comforting her daughter, who’s just been relating the tale of an embarrassing incident.
The illustration was done in a combination of Adobe Illustrator (Background elements and props), Manga Studio (Initial rough sketch and final character art) and Photoshop (Compositing and colour correction).
For comparison. Here’s the initial sketch, which as you can see, just required some small changes to the facial expressions.
Client: Slagharen Vakantiepark via TheIllustratorsAgency.com
I enjoyed working on this mural design project. it’s been a long time since I had the opportunity to work on some licensed properties. It was refreshing not to have to come up with a completely original character for once. Although working on licensed characters has it’s own set of challenges of course, not least of which is keeping the characters on-model.
Sometimes it helps to draw the character and go away and do something else for a few hours . When you come back to it you see it with fresh eyes and any errors suddenly stand out with startling clarity.
Here are some of the rough drafts I went through trying to get Slush Puppy right. Roughs were done in Manga Studio 5 and final design was completed in Adobe Illustrator.
This video illustrates the 3 stages that I go through when creating a finished cartoon character design in this case a friendly dog character based on my client’s black and white Border Collie. The 3 stages are loose sketch in Sketchbook Pro, tight sketch using construction and colouring in Adobe Illustrator.
In my latest YouTube video I go through my process of creating this piece of pinup style art for a Zazzle Tshirt. In order to do this I start off by sketching in Sketchbook Pro and refine it, then bring it into Illustrator for digital inking and flat colouring and finally some digital painting in Photoshop.
Final coloured version. A bit more tweaking in Illustrator in Photoshop and I’m finally happy with this piece. I’m particularly happy with the colour contrast between the red hair of the “Glamazon” and the blue monochrome of the background.
In this version I’ve taken the previous greyscale flats and tweaked it in Photoshop adding some shading with the airbrush tool and pushing the hue of he whole image to a monochromatic blue, apart of course, from the red eyes of the pursuing creatures.
Flats done in Greyscale in Adobe Illustrator. A “Flat” is simply a broad area of colour or tone that has no shading or textural detail added to it. Why Greyscale? At this stage it’s important to establish that the tones have enough contrast to create a clear division between the subject and the foreground and the background
Digitally “Inking” the outlines in Adobe Illustrator. This process requires the creation of some custom brushes in Adobe Illustrator. A process which I discuss in some detail in this video http://youtu.be/W8KJ2Fw6lss The custom brushes that I made give nice thick and thin lines like an actual ink brush. The great thing about illustrator’s digital “Ink” is that it can be tweaked and smoothed until it’s exactly right. No whiteout, and no spilled ink on the carpet!
I recently posted the above finished Jungle Girl Pin Up image on my Deviant Art page, where you can also buy it as a print. Here’s the final You Tube video in this series showing me colouring her up in Adobe illustrator. Hi Res files for this image are also available for download from the Zengrenade Shop
After many requests, I finally got around to producing a video that shows in detail my method of inking and colouring using Adobe Illustrator. The video is one hour long and shows how I create the various different custom brushes I use in my artwork, how to create dynamic colour and shade using gradients and many other tips and tricks that I use to speed up my workflow.
I posted a new 3 part video on my YouTube channel this week of me drawing a Jungle Girl Pin up. Instead of the usual time lapse videos that I’ve done before , these are in real time and I talk a bit about the process as I do it.
Here’s part one
To see parts one and two and to subscribe to my YouTube channel please go here