day 3 : the process

Today is all about the process so from start to finish, here's what generally goes in to every digital Sunshine Portrait or commission:


First up I get to chat to lovely customers! Orders are placed or emails and quotes are arranged, then lots of photos and information about who and what I need to draw are sent over and discussed - this can sometimes take several days depending if you get all the info you need upfront.


I get my sketchbook, pencils (and a brew) ready and start drawing - my favourite bit! Drawing from photos can often be quite hard so I like to ask for a lot to look at whilst sketching and knowing a few things about the kind of person I'm drawing can also help a lot. It means I can capture more of their personality in the way they're standing/sitting or in the clothes they are wearing and even in the objects that surround them.



Once the sketch is complete I scan it all in. Depending on what's in the Sunshine, depends on how many pages I have to scan. I often draw backgrounds on one page, objects for hobbies and interests on another and the lovely people or pets on another page. When they're all scanned in I use photoshop to edit, tidy and layer them together.


The completed sketch is emailed over and I request specific feedback for any amends that may need to be made. After a round of amends and a couple of emails, the sketch is approved and it's ready for the digital bit!


I print off the sketch in its finished form and outline the whole thing in my favourite ink pen. It's then scanned back in and tidied up again in Photoshop to leave a crisp black and white line drawing. I then open the pen version in Illustrator and trace around the outlines to create a super smooth, black and white vector.


Working back from photographs and emails I add colour, pattern and texture to the Sunshine. This is the bit where I often learn something new, whether it's creating a new pattern, learning about a new tool or just working out how to make grass look like grass or fur more furry with a simple texture.



As with the sketch, the colour version is then sent to the customer for review and any colour changes are made at this stage. After a couple more emails the final Sunshine is signed off. YAY!


Once everyone is happy, the final digital file is prepared and a high resolution jpg is sent on to the customer. An A4 print of the digital illustration is also printed, packed and posted, ready to be framed or gifted to the happy recipient.



That is how I create my digital Sunshine portraits!

I hope that’s of interest to some of you (if you’ve never read my waffling blog posts about them before!) but I often forget how much I put into these ‘doodles’ sometimes so it’s quite nice to step back and appreciate the process - that I also LOVE!

If you have any questions or want to know more please do shout - I’m happy to waffle some more if you bring the syrup!


Jo WantComment