Still under the deadline cosh and just getting to that dangerous moment when I'm half kidding myself that I'm doing almost OK on the impossible deadline. Do here's another posting but partly in response to a suggestion from fellow blogger and illustrator Graeme Neil Reid, I'm going to be slightly, well OK VERY self indulgent and share with you one of the gazillions of artworks I am doing for a series of ELT books.
In common with a lot of illustrators, I work entirely digitally save for a little A6 drawing book, which I am currently devoting to filling up with a lot of anatomy exercises courtesy of the late, great George Bridgman. If you are keen to pursue a career in illustration and envisage yourself being required to draw figures from imagination then you absolutely need these books! I am not great when it comes to figure drawing and fall into the category of illustrators that need to constantly work hard at keeping on top of anatomy - hence the exercises.
Anyway, to get back to digital illustration, I spent years and years working in Photoshop and avoided using vector based drawing software of which Illustrator is pre-eminent, as to me it just seemed too anal, klunky and labor intensive. But in the end I got so bored with Photoshop and so dispirited with how dated my work seemed to be getting, that I junked Photoshop and embraced Illustrator. My introduction to it's wonders was actually a tutorial on a free CD on Computer Arts magazine and the half hour it took me to construct a Manga character, showed me just enough of the basics to have me up and running with the software.
The beautiful thing for me about Illustrator, is that from practically nothing in terms of a guide for your drawing, you can create razor sharp images, with beautiful vector dynamics (no nasty pixels here mate!) and the images can be magnified a hundredfold with no break down in sharpness. With gradation tools, transparency effects and a host of other simple but powerful tools you can create artwork which is always easy to tweak, twiddle and adjust, which makes it ideal for today's demanding clients who always have little comments and alterations which was rarely the case when everything was hand drawn back in the days of yore.
So here's a sample piece of artwork and here's the thing under magnification. Just look at those lines - no jaggedy bits and it all came from this under drawing, which itself was created in Manga Studio.