Monday, October 1, 2012

Step-by-Step Process: Resilient

It's about time I made an actual post outlining my process of starting and finishing an illustration. I'll be using the illustration I created for TwinSrpnt for this walkthrough. More about my process after the break!
I'll try not to be overly wordy and hold your hand as I walk through my process; I don't want to end up droning on about every little thing I do, so I'll keep it short and simple and let my images do most of the talking!

1) I start off with a basic sketch. During this stage, I'll focus on nailing down the overall composition of the illustration. The red frame inside my canvas is used as a reference and helps me keep the illustration in the proper ratio.

2 & 3) After getting a rough sketch down, I'll tighten it up and add more detail to the sketch.

 4 & 5) Final linework time! This stage usually takes me the longest. I flip my canvas horizontally back and forth during this stage to get a better idea of how things look composition-wise.

6) More linework, this time working on the spine/bones of the snake. I resketched the bones in order to have a tighter sketch to follow. Even though I already have a tightened sketch, I tend to sketch more throughout the linework stage.

 7-9) More linework! This time I'm working on drawing the wheat at the bottom of the illustration.

 10-12) Color fills! During this stage, I'll use my standard brush tool and/or a combination of area selecting tools (magic wand, lasso, and polygonal lasso) and the paint bucket tool to select and fill areas with color. The scattering effect you see for the eclipse in the center was created using a custom scatter brush. The rays were created using the line tool.

  13) A majority of my key areas have been filled with color, so now I'm working on fine color details. I also started drawing the field of wheat/grass in the background.

14-15) Adding some more detail in the form of color fills and doing some color shifts to the illustration. Making some finishing touches; almost done.

The final step is adding a texture overlay to my illustration. A majority of the time, I'll use this card board texture I scanned in. After placing the scanned texture over my flattened illustration, I'll desaturate the scanned texture, make two copied layers of the scan, and add my special blend of overlay and multiply to create my textured final illustration.


I hope this post is helpful to all of those who were wondering how I work! I have to admit, it was difficult finding an illustration to use for this process walkthrough. I thought I saved a lot more process shots of all of my other illustrations, but I was proven wrong once I had to look for them! Lately though, I've been making a habit of saving sketches and screen captures of illustrations as they progress so I can easily make more posts regarding my process in the future!


  1. Whoa! This is awesome homie. I honestly thought the texture behind the sky was done using spray paint scans.

    1. Thanks Rob! hmmm, scanning up spray paint bursts sounds like a good idea to try out!

  2. insanely gorgeous. thanks for the walkthrough

  3. So you work entirely in photoshop, you don't sketch and ink the drawing on paper first?

    1. Yup, I work entirely in photoshop!

  4. Cool! It's difficult to tell as the small blacked details on the scales of the snake etc look inked, do you just colour it with a tablet or use the pen tools to build shapes?

  5. thanks again for linking me here Brian
    amazing work

  6. Please tell me the process to make a this type of snake for Stage Drama.
    Please tech me step-by-step process please please.