From Concept to Entry

My email reminded me this morning that it was the last day of a t-shirt design contest from Wet Seal. So I decided that my Inktober drawing this morning would be a concept drawing for it.

Then, me being the lazy person I am, I decided it would also be my post for today. So here is my process of getting from preliminary drawing to finished file for submission.

Step 1

I start by scanning my original image. It usually comes out upside down because I am not good at remembering which way it goes and my printer is on a shelf above eye-level.

Step 2

Once I get it turned the right direction and cropped to just the image I want, I open illustrator and place is in a new artboard as layer 1. Then I immediately lock the layer so I don’t accidentally move it around while I am working. Then it’s time for digitizing the piece.

Step 3

Now is the time for outlining. I used my drawing tablet to trace the letters using the pencil tool, then traced the outlines of the animals with the pen tool. Even when I’m making outlines, I like to use “closed object” as much as possible. So I use the pathfinder tools to create the smaller areas.

Before After

Step 4

For this step, I copy the outlines to a new layer (each outline is already on its own layer) and create a main outline for each animal. Then, using the pathfinder divide function, I separate them for each color and place the pieces for each color in separate layers. Then its a simple change of the fill and outline colors to create the pattern.

Step 5

Now it’s time to put everything together like a puzzle and remove the original artwork from the back. You can export it straight from Illustrator into a jpeg, but I prefer to save the file and open it in Photoshop before creating the file. It makes it easier to just get the image that way, without a bunch of unnecessary white space.

Anyone have a different method they use for creating digital art files? Any tips for being able to use the drawing tablet more instead of reverting back to the mouse for most steps?

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