This week I create a piece for illustration Friday, for those who don't know what it is, it's a website that supplies one word a week for challengers to illustrate. This week's word was 'Wild', I decided to create a toned paper drawing
The first thing I always do is pull out my sketch book to explore ideas. I know I wanted to have a goblin riding some animal but I wasn't sure. So with the theme 'Wild' I decided to go with more of an Savannah them since that feels like a wild world of animals. I then chose a Warthog as the animal, I pulled out my ipad and looked for reference photos. What I like about having a tablet is that I can lay it down on the other side of the sketchbook like I can do with printed reference, so I can sit in a comfy chair and not at my desk all day.
After I've created enough sketches to feel comfortable to move onto the final image, I'll go through my drawers to get the right piece of paper. For toned paper, I like Strathmore tan. Its smooth and takes ink really well.
I draw with a 2H pencil, starting out with the basic shapes like I did in the thumbnail drawing in the sketchbook, because once details are applied it feels more committed to the piece and what happens if I need to move the head an inch over? After blocking, I use an HB pencil for the details, I don't tend to use a 4B or anything because it smudges and makes it hard for me to ink. Once details are done, it's time to ink
I always ink on a flat surface, even when I ink at my drafting table I lay it flat and hover over it like a hawk. The brush I use is a 'round 0' but I've tried many brushes still I found one that I've liked, it's like finding the right pencil. For ink, I only ever use FW black, everything else never lives up to its standards. I start out inking large shapes first, then smaller, and finally the small little details like patterns.
After the ink has completely dry, I get white gouache (Winsor Newton) and a fine brush to add whites. Most of the time it takes 2 layers to get a flat white, but I am also careful to not buckle the paper since it isn't made to take a large amount of water.
Once it's all dry, scan, and use some photoshop magic and its ready to share.