So at this point in time, when I have no consistent viewers, I’m guessing no one has witnessed the fact that I added… a logo! Nevertheless, I’m excited, and so I’m going to share my process in creating it. Mind you, this is one of my first finished works in digital art, though I have done brainstorming for animation with my Wacom Intuos (I bought it about a two weeks ago). Plus, I have an artist friend who specializes mainly in digital art on her iPad, and through her I am familiar with the process.
I started off with a basic sketch
I did this in Layer 1 of the free version of Autodesk Sketchbook (because I’m both cheap and broke). To be completely honest, I can’t tell you how I got the idea for the design itself, but I can tell you that I wanted it to be some expression of both myself and the purpose of this blog. Plus the creature’s basic design was inspired by one of Ross Geller’s little stuffed animals for his son Ben (see if you can find it). Inspiration is everywhere you know :). At this stage, I find it important to make sure I use the pencil tool on a fairly transparent setting, either black or blue.
Next, I opened up another layer and cleaned it up a bit
I added a little ear out of pure whimsy and the writing pen thingy to demonstrate that this blog is also about writing, not just art. Make sure the tool is darker at this stage. I usually use the pen tool.
Now it’s time to make yet another layer and lay in some groundwork for the colour.
Like I said before, this little guy (whom I have just now dubbed Harriet for no particular reason) was inspired by a stuffed animal from Friends, so I decided to stay true to the general colouration. Don’t worry about staying in the lines here, you can erase what you need to later without destroying the pen outline because the two are on separate layers.
From here you need to decide on a general direction of light so you can place the shadows accurately, which doesn’t need a lot of thought unless the lighting is crucial to some effect you’re trying to make. In this case, I just wanted it to make it look somewhat three-dimensional and decided that the lighting was somewhere to the right of him after I shaded purely by instinct (I’ll get back to that later).
Ain’t he purdy? I should probably explain how to determine where the highlights are and all that, but that would take me on a tangent too long and slightly to complex for what I’m explaining here. The basics are what you already know by that little human-animal part of your brain that observes patterns and doesn’t tell you about it, but somehow you know anyway. I wanted to show that he had a flatter head, a squishy nose, and a little happy squishy cheek under his eye that shows a bit of happiness, so I placed the highlights there and highlighted other parts according to things I assumed about Harriet’s structure.
Finally, I added the texture of the tips of both the tools and the shadows cast from them, which I find people forget a lot. This is why is was important to locate the approximate placing of the light source.