Another designer asked what my design process was today–how I create my designs–and I realized that my answer was so good, I had to share it with you.
My answer: it depends on the design and the technical difficulty of what I’m trying to create. For instance, take the illustration above. I wanted to draw cartoon character girls in astronaut suits with princess crowns.
My Design Process, Step One
decide what I’m drawing and how to create it
What isn’t shown in this illustration is the hour or two I spent researching astronaut suits or playing with vector shapes of astronauts to see what I could use or lose from the suits while making them work for this design.
sketch it out by hand
Then I picked up a handy pad of sketch paper–this particular sheet was green–and roughed out a sketch with a mechanical pencil. I created more than one–there are three girl astronauts in the finished artwork–and scanned them all in.
redraw using Krita
Krita is a shareware drawing program with a great pen stabilizer for smooth lines. I encourage you to donate to make the software amazing–it’s definitely worth it! This is important because I find myself drawing on a wood veneer desk surface with a mouse or a stylus, and that tends to make for jittery lines.
add color and props in Photoshop Elements
Next, I opened the sketch pngs in Photoshop Elements, and added colors and drew other elements like the rocket and moon using vector shapes that I edited. I could also do a lot of the coloring in Krita, but…I’m still learning the software, and it doesn’t allow me to save artwork as jpegs, which I sometimes need to do, and it doesn’t have a nifty library of vector shapes.
I use Photoshop Elements instead of Photoshop CC because I don’t have to pay a monthly fee for it. Also, I’ve been able to add to my PSE library with lots of great vector shapes and textures–so my copy is customized.
And voila! A beautiful piece of artwork celebrating little girls’ dreams of flying to the moon is born.
I’m finding that Spoonflower’s design challenges are very inspiring. I also love creating custom artwork for clients by special request. Contact me to discover what I can create for you.