I decided that for this post I would break my illustration process down into a series of basic steps from an infographic I made for myself, it’s also posted on all my social media sites. Now this is just a quick reference and not by any means everything I do. Of course there would be more or less steps depending on the project. I will do a more extensive breakdown in a later post. For right now though, here are my general steps.
1) Brainstorm - Ideas and Inspiration
This is where I think about what I want to illustrate. The idea can come from anywhere - Comics, Animation, Dreams, Movies, etc. Where the idea comes from is not that important, it's what idea entails that is.
2) Thumbnails - Get the idea down
This is the stage where I do multiple small sketches called "thumbnails". All I am trying to do is just make the idea visual. I'm not concerned with details at this point, which why the sketches are small, that way I can do as many as I need in a short amount of time.
3) Reference - Keep it real or not
Everything I draw, regardless if it's a comic book, a sci-fi scene or a portrait, there is some connection to reality though I will also rely on just my imagination too in some cases. Finding reference for a new piece can be daunting. With the internet I can usually find whatever visuals I need, but I always have my camera near just in case I need to create my own.
4) Layouts - Refinement
Now I can start my layouts, which are just larger more refined thumbnails. This stage allows me to work any difficult areas or composition issues before I commit to the final drawing surface. I will sometimes do a few of these as well just to see if I like a different composition or even combine elements from different thumbnails.
5) Draw - Put it all together
Now I can "begin" drawing. I would also decided on my materials and what I'm going to draw on. I've worked out any issues in the layout stage and can start making a finished illustration.
That is it for the most part. Well until next time...