I wanted to show a little of my process using an art piece I recently created. Basically everything I do starts out as a pencil sketch. I will take this into Photoshop to flip it and redraw pieces. I almost can’t imagine not following up with this step since I often find quite a few defects in my original drawing. I also like having the freedom to explore other options with a character’s pose, etc.
Once I have a solid drawing, I move on to Illustrator and block out the color. For this I mainly use the pen tool. I use a combination of gradients and flat color to start to bring out the shape of the character(s) and object(s). It is sometimes tempting to stop after this but it is always more rewarding to follow through with the final step and add highlights and shading.
The highlights and shading step is usually more of the same with using the pen tool and gradients. I know about gradient meshes, but I prefer not to use them as they are sometimes difficult to control.
This piece also employs the use of paint brushes. It is a technique I would like to use more often on future projects.
To clarify, these are not my original characters, they are from two different video games: Transistor and Child of Light. If you are unfamiliar with either, I highly recommend them. Both have amazing art and music and are definitely worth looking into.