Malice and the river of fire. Illustration workflow and process

The illustration above is an old illustration I started 5 years ago. Then I was planning a greater project with the character and the world I began to write. Real life made that project impossible, I had no time to continue it, so most of the sketches ended up in some boxes. Well, enough said about that. This piece was started back in 2008, the first two steps are from then and the rest of them are only 6 months old.



After drawing the piece I usually scan it and do a rough coloring digitally, but in this piece, I watercolored before scanning. This is the digital start point, either with a rough color or watercolored, we have a general idea of the colors and mood of the piece. From now on, what I usually do is mixing the scanned line with the color base. This can be done with several methods, from any artistic filter to the usual finger tool, anyway you can mix the general color with local lines is good. This is what it’s shown on this third step, the basic coloring and illumination of the scene.


From now on, it’s really some easy stuff, nearly of the piece is thought and it’s the time to materialize those ideas. I usually work step by step, locally. In this fourth step some work is done on the red character and the boat.


After some retouches, nearly all the detail on the boat is done, so I continue working on the backgrounds.


Sometimes I feel the scene lacks of some point of interest visually speaking, in this piece almost all the piece has a dominant red, so I chose to draw a secondary light source, in this case, as the picture depicts a fantasy scene, I chose to put a a blue torch, because it would be a really interesting light source and would mix well with the main character and the boat.



In the last two steps are above all, I worked on the face of the character, the face drawn on paper worked well there, but it was not working on this stage of the picture. I left a rough background because I didn’t want to draw attention from the viewer, and the blue torch worked really well with the girl character.


This is it. The finished piece. I hope all this is somehow useful for anyone, if so, don’t doubt to leave feedback on twitter, facebook or google plus. Thanks for reading!