Ok, before I go any further I must step back a bit and talk about process. My process came about due to necessity rather than by an artistic decision. I was asked to illustrate a book while I was in the midst of moving. And I had a two year old. So I really didn’t want to dive into alot of materials that would be smelly, messy, and potentially eaten or destroyed by curious little hands. Not to mention there was little living space to provide for any fancy studio set-up, and the living space I did have was slowly being taken up my moving boxes.
So I started looking into how the computer could work for me. It seemed like the best solution to my circumstance. It’s clean. There’s no long set-up time. I can leave a file open and come and go all day, working for five minutes at a time if need be, in the middle of mommy-hood duties. I contemplated over using the computer for the work. The purist that I am kept accusing me of cheating. But I came to realize that the final product is a digital file anyway. This is not art that will hang in a gallery or on someone’s walls. It is MEANT to be viewed in reproduction, as essentially a digital image. This way, I actually have more control over the final product, instead of sending off priceless hours of original work, then hoping the production photographer/scanner will do justice to the colors. I still agonize over color, but that’s another story.
I came across a wonderful find: “Illustrations with Photoshop: A Designer’s Notebook” published by O’Reilly Media. Documented by fantastic collection of illustrators, this compilation of journals was my answer (and still is). I have adopted (and adapted somewhat) the technique used by Nicolas Fructus. You can find his journal of the process in the book on page 39, I’ll give you my version here. To be continued….