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Gather Scrap

The foundation of the design

Pencil Sketch

Solve the composition

Color Rough

Solve the color pallet

Final Art

Paint with heart

Gather Scrap

Finding scrap is the first challenge to any good illustration. Not just any scrap either, it needs to be really good scrap. Sometimes the illustration is only as good as the scrap that's available to work from. If the scap doesn't exist, shooting my own photographs using models, props and costumes to create what I need is the best alternative. 

pencil sketch

Piecing scrap together in a cohesive and pleasing composition is the next hurdle. I may have to swap out characters, re-arrange the elements to create balance, or eliminate certain pieces all together. Doing all of this with a pencil sketch is much easier and less work than doing it with a painting. Putting in the work at this stage saves time and effort later on in the process. This also helps ensure greater success with the painting.

color rough

The color rough is when things start to come to life. Primarily, I'm working the color pallet at this stage but this is where I try to solve the tone, harmonize colors, adjusting values, and the overall feel of the painting. I always try to find a color theme that works with the image and the feeling I want to convey. Making each piece of the illustration compliment the other and pull  everything together.

final art

Magic takes time and talent. The final art is the last stage of my process and where I spend my time on the details; correcting and tweaking any last remaining flaws and maybe pushing the color deeper or softening edges to polish it into perfection. The color rough is my road map - I use it as a reference as I paint the final piece to pull in all the design elements and make sure I stay true to the original color concept. Even though it's a final piece, I still try to keep a looseness and style that is all my own.

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