Interestingly, I don't often get requests for true-to-life renditions of the subjects. I find clients want to be interpreted and recreated in the style of my work. They want to envision themselves in a tropical dream being bathed by sunlight, as a beautiful wahine in a forgotten place and time. I'm always happy because I know before the art is created, it is already loved.
Such is the case with this illustration for my latest client who dances hula and is a quite beautiful Japanese woman. I was asked to create an image in her likeness. Because she needs a digital file and not a finished canvas, I went for a fully digital illustration. Here I wanted to share a bit of the process...
1. Ok, so not every step is digital. I do begin every illustration with a good old sketch. I don't go into much detail...I mostly just indicate where elements will sit and get a feel for the layout. This is submitted to the client for approval.
2. After initial sketch is approved I begin the line drawing process. I like to think of this as digital inking, where I clean up my lines and create a framework for the image, working in Illustrator.
3. My client did not want an exact rendition of herself but did want me to take cues her photographs. She was so lovely I couldn't help but be inspired by her facial features.
5. Here I'm beginning to texturize the skirt and skin to give it a depth and tone. I work on the main subject first before moving on to the background/scenery.
7. Ok, so you'll notice my girl's features changed since the original sketch. The first girl had smaller eyes and a poutier lip. I made some edits to suit the client's request. I put the finishing touches to the face, being careful to keep the shading soft and subtle. Overall, turned out great.
So this is my basic design process. I'll post the final version in the next few days when I complete the project. 'Till then, a hui hou!