I usually start with coloring the background. That gives me some idea what colors to pick for objects in the foreground. References come in handy for pose, color scheme and details. I prefer to draw without sketching, so if I don’t like how something looks I keep changing it out with other objects. In this case it was first a broom, later replaced with a vacuum cleaner. The background was too flat, which was solved by applying a vivid blue, giving it some volume. For those just starting to learn to draw in Photoshop I would advise you to work on all parts of your illustration and by that I mean the general image. Then when you are satisfied with the global look to go into more detail oriented work.
In the last few years the publishing industry has been rapidly changing. Print on demand is giving opportunities to new writers and illustrators to publish their work without spending thousands of dollars, or waiting years for a reply from publishers.
Recently, I illustrated for the book “Whyis the Moon Following Me?” which is printed through CreateSpace or Amazon. One of the main concerns for me was how well the printing quality would turn out, will colors match? Now that the book is in print we noticed inconsistencies in the printing quality. Maybe buyers won’t notice, but I do. It took me a year to finish all the illustrations, hours and hours spent on playing with contrasts of light and color for naught, due to simple bad printing. It looks like it went through a Photoshop filter where it lowers the contrast and increases brightness, making it look washed-out. I wouldn’t mind if it was printed darker, but when lightened, it really detracts from the quality of the image. The text was supposed to be black, but it came out dark gray. Photos on the right are as they should be. I just hope this whole printing on demand technology will one day improve leaving us all happy with the final results.
I went jogging yesterday, thinking of what I could possibly draw. The idea came when I met this guy, carrying weights in both hands and walking his short, chubby dog. To start drawing I needed a couple references, so I dressed myself like a man and took a few shots with my camera. To draw the dog, the stake and hamburger, I used Flicker photos as references. Add to that the couple of hours drawing in Photoshop, which was interrupted by my 9 year old daughter and her friend, my teenage son that needs drive to afternoon practice, flying pet (African Gray parrot) attacking food left on table, and finally by about 1 AM I have my drawing ready, almost, with minor changes put in place the following morning. That also took a few hours. I bet this sounds familiar to many of you.
Finally! After a year of work on this book, it is ready to be published. Why is the Moon Following Me? is done in collaboration with award winning writer Emer Martin, scientist Suzana Tulac and me as an illustrator.