Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Illustration Process

Van asked for me to post a few pictures of what goes on behind the scenes as I do a drawing. I love the idea, and I had an idea for a series of illustrations so I thought I would take the first in the series and use it for an example.

This will be pretty long, so I may break this up into two or three posts. We'll see how it goes.

First off, we have the idea. THE WIFE and I have been wanting me to do some more illustrations and try to break into cartooning and freelance illustrating. The 9 to 5 grind of the job is wearing down on all of us, so I have been trying to brainstorm on how to approach it. Basically I think my "Thing" is single panel design of random goofiness.

For the current series, I decided to pick on President Obama and his tendancy to blame Bush for things that go wrong. I thought I could show some more "Evil" things Bush could be doing.  Basically just have some fun with things and try to share a laugh at everyone's expense.

So with that idea, the first thing I do is sketch out how I want the picture to lay out. I usually do my stuff on plain 8 and 1/2 by 11 printer paper as it is cheap and easy to find. Once I get done, I scan it into my PC and do the coloring unless I am doing colored pencil or something similar.

I decided to go with just a plain side view layout with a desk in center, chair, some windows in the background and two figures.  I think one of my weaknesses is that I tend to be unimaginative with my viewing angles and this is an example of it.

Basic rough frame layout
The one on the left will eventually become President Obama and the one on the right behind the desk will Become "W". Once I get done with the rouch layout I start adding some detail into the items on the paper. Here I start on some detail work for "The Prez."

President Obama
I do have to point out that a buddy of mine accused me of being racist because the figure in my drawing looked like a black man.  I am glad of that though seeing as how THE PRESIDENT IS BLACK! (OK, fine... HALF black.)

Now I throw some detail work on our evil little buddy.

Miss Me Yet?

One trick I learned to help keep my pencil sketches clean came from my old high school drafting class. Just take a second sheet of paper and rest your hand on it. This will keep your drawing hand from smudging, smearing or softening the pencil lines you already have down.  Anther benefit is if you use any kind of ball point pen to do inking, the graphite from the pencil can prevent the ball from rolling and keeping the ink from spreading properly.

Uh... Yeah...
Once I get the main objects in and along the lines I like (or can tolerate) , I'll start throwing in some background detail to keep it interesting.

Honestly... A day in my head is beyond description.
While I was doing this, I dug up a few pics of the Oval Office and checked out the curtains behind the President's desk. So I added them in along with the flags.

Yes, actually they DO match the drapes.
Next comes inking. I like to go over my pencil lines with ink to darken them in more for scanning. This also allows me to use an eraser much easier to clean up my lines and get a better image. At this point, my ink pens are pretty boring, just standard black ball point pens.


So here we are with the inked and (somewhat) cleaned up image. I have my dialog ballon ready and banner at the bottom. I timed this and at this point I have about an hour's worth of time in (Yea for my lunch break!).

This can NOT end well.
This is probably a good place to stop for today. Tomorrow or Thursday, I'll pick up with lettering, scanning, and cleanup / coloring on the PC.


Kim said...

This looks great! I love the bunny also.

furiousBall said...

this was great! thanks for revealing the process a bit for us :)