Once you establish a baseline of steps that work for you, the mechanism in your brain that tells you “I need to do this, then this, then this… in order to achieve this” will begin to function like a perpetual engine—this is your process.
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I think it’s safe to say that you will have some semblance of a layout rattling around in your head prior to picking up a pencil. Even if that vision is hazy, hashing out the main characters first will aid you in nailing down the layout. Sometimes the brain-to-paper translation isn’t as clear as you’d like.
It isn't often that an artist is given an opportunity to create his unique vision without any limitations. Greg, the owner of the Ballard Beer Co., gave me free rein to do whatever I wanted with a mural he wanted to have painted in a cramped spot at the front of his store ...
The process for this illustration was all about production and time. Lots and lots of time. My drawing app of choice is Sketchbook Pro because it is the most "natural" drawing tool available when combined with a Wacom tablet or Cintiq. All of the line work for this piece was done using a stylus, a 9" Wacom tablet with the drawing area constrained and liberal use of Command-Z and my eraser.