In the last year, I began getting into digital work for a lot of my prints. I've never had a formal training in either photoshop or illustrator but my brother is a graphic designer and has showed me the basics. I do some things the way i figured out how to do it. It may not be the easiest way or the quickest, but its the way I've figured it out that works for me.
I love drawing. Even when i do digital stuff, it starts out as a pencil sketch. Sometimes i sketch one and like the first one, sometimes i do ten. It varies from character to character. Baymax just happened to fall together from the beginning which was odd because I had put off drawing him for the longest time. I'm not the biggest fan of drawing animated characters because its hard to put your own style on it when its already a drawing in the first place.
Step 2-Vector Outline
I use a variety of different brushes in illustrator. I do all of my outline with the brush tool. Generally the outer outline is a 4 or 5 pt while the inside line is a 1,2, or 3 pt depending where it is, and what I'm outlining. I've always been a fan of the bold outlined cartoons and that's the style I aim for. It's not overly bold and in-your-face but it does the job for me. Sometimes the outline can take 20 minutes or it can take 3 hours, again, just depends on the character. (the Ant Man print that will be released in August took forever to outline!)
Step 3-Base Color
Next, is adding the base color. (Sorry i accidentally started in one the shadows before starting another layer so this isn't totally a base color) To me, this is the boring stage, if there is one. I use the pen tool to do all of my coloring. So, I go through and outline everything again and it fills the outline in with color. (Someday I'll get around to do a video of working on one of these) Again, I'm sure there are easier and quicker ways of doing the coloring, but this is how i like to do it and it works.
Step 4-Shadows/Secondary Color
This is where I start to have some fun. I love the rest of the process. Adding shadows and shades is what makes it really pop out and not look so much like a kids coloring page. Still using the pen tool for the shades, just making my own shapes of where I want the shadows to go. A lot of people do digital painting on photoshop where it looks like a legit oil painting where everything is blended perfectly. I like that style, i know how difficult it is and can appreciate it. It's just not for me. I like seeing the lines of where the shadow breaks, and the defining line of where the darker shadow begins. I love working in Illustrator. Vectors are so clean and works really well for artwork.
Step 5-Final touches
The final step is going through and adding the final highlights with the same technique as the shadows, just with a lighter color. I try not to add a lot of highlights because I believe its really easy to go overboard with the light colors. Do too much and it will look like your character is standing directly under the sun.
Like I've said, i love working with vectors, its just so clean to work in. My cartoons are the greatest, they can and are always improving. When all of the prints are done for Steel City Con in August, I'll have over 50 prints in total! That's insane to me. I never thought i would have such a body of work in such a short time. The August show for Steel City Con was my first ever con I had a table at, last year. So I'm looking forward to this August's show being my own little 1 year anniversary. ;)
As always, theres more stuff coming and a lot more in the works. Keep an eye out.
I'm Knob, an artist out of Lancaster, PA. I have done just about any type of art I have come across. Anything from just plain drawing to tattooing. I've recently started doing digital work in the last year and I'm really starting to fall in love with it. I've always come back to drawing so, I'm trying to merge the two, which I've so far been successful at.