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This is one of my illustration processes...
Step 1. I scan in a line drawing. I usually draw with non-photo blue lead in a drafting pencil and then either ink over it with india ink and a brush, or i just draw with a mechanical pencil. In this case I inked it with a brush.
To get rid of the non-photo blue line after I scan it, I just adjust the hue/saturation and put the brightness on the blues and cyans to 100%.
Step 2. I seperate the black linework from the white paper. I learned the process from a professor of mine, Scott Franson, at BYU-Idaho. Here is the process explained on his blog
Step 3. I add a background layer of white and then a layer for color above that one, leaving my layer of linework on top. (I make sure that the Line layer has the "Lock transparent pixels" button clicked on. That is for the next step.)
I color in the drawing like any child would color in a coloring book. My current process is to set the magic wand tool to use all layers. I then select the area I want to fill. I then expand the selection by two pixels (Under Select-> Modify-> Expand.) I use the Command + delete to fill the selection with my foreground color.
My layers end up looking like the pallete window below.
Step 4. I first started doing this next step about 6-8 months ago. Like I mentioned before I have the Line layer with "Lock tansparent pixels" clicked. I use my wacom tablet to start coloring the lines. Because I'm trying for flat shapes and I'm trying to get rid of many of my lines, I color the lines around the outside of shapes with the same color as the one that the shape has been filled with. I also color the lines I am going to leave visible with something other than black. As you can see with this illustration, I generally do leave some lines black, but I don't leave it as the default shade for lines. Using the wacom tablet to color these lines allows me to tweak and/or eliminate unwanted lines as well or make thick lines thinner.
Step 5. Next, I create a new layer on top and set it to multiply at about 30% opacity.
Step 6. I change the brush to one of the default ones that looks like chalk, and I set the eraser to that as well. I then add a little bit of shadows to everything. I usually select an area and hide the selection, then create the shadows in that area only. For this one I chose a blue color for the shadows.
Step 7. I create a new layer set to screen mode for the highlights. I usually set the layer at 30% opacity. For this one I created a second layer for stronger highlights and set that to 50%.
Step 8. For the highlights I usually pick white or a light gray and I just use the default brush.
Step 9. I added a "fix" layer to add some texture to a few things. After setting the layer to overlay mode and setting the opacity to around 60%, I add some touch-ups. For this one I used the chalk brush to add some texture to the jeans and to the hoodie. I also added some red color to the nose and cheeks with one of the other brushes.
I sometimes add texture by scanning some cloth with an interesting weave and placing it over the shape with the layer set to multiply. I opted not to do that this time.
Step 10. For this step I mess around with little things that I think need fixing, little nit-picky stuff. I fixed the shape of the nose and darkened those little things that hang down from the hood on the hoodie.
I also added a hue/saturation layer to make the hoodie a little more green. I usually try a hue/saturation layer to see how the colors could be. I recommend it to everyone.
Anyway...enjoy!
All images copyright Mike Laughead