Anatomy of an Illustration

This is the most complex image in the new story, so far.  With it, I wanted to show the process I use to make my illustrations.  The first image shows a very rough sketch.  This is how all my pictures start.


After sketching all the characters and content, I scan the image and begin the outlines.  Usually, I use a darker pencil to create the outlines.  In this image, however, I outlined everything with my pen-tool on the computer using Photoshop.  


Next, I add a layer for color.  Photoshop allows you to add layers with different properties, and in this case the colors are set to “multiply,” which allows the layer beneath it to show through.  In this way my outlines are preserved, and I don’t have to worry about erasing them by accident.


Flat colors are just a first step in coloring.  Shadows are added on a new layer to create the illusion of depth and to add contrast to the flat colors.  


Highlights are added to complete the 3-dimensional appearance of the image.


Finally, I have prepared a special series of filters that I apply to all my images in order to give them a textured appearance.  This also brings out the colors and enhances the images contrast.  


In this illustration, Slippy the Salamander, acting as arbiter, addresses the Tri-Lateral Commission on the green moon of Trillak, known as Piggle-Paggle-Ding-Dong-Doodle.  For a full explanation of the history of this unusually named moon, see “The Adventures of the Salamander – Book II – or – Slippy and the Progression of Problematic Predicaments – Volume 7 – Appendix III – Pages 141-144.

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