Character Design:
Concept to Color
As an artist you should always carry a sketch pad with you.  You never know when you will have a sudden burst of inspiration.  A creative idea can start anywhere.... on your commute to work, sitting in a coffee shop drinking a venti latte, relaxing in the park under a tree or even in a meeting (sssshhhh, I should not say that but it can happen).  But really inspiration can hit at any time and any where.  So break out that trusty sketchpad and start doodling.

Many times I will create a sketch for fun.  Sometimes I may continue with that sketch and sometimes that sketch may sit there for several months.  But if I do come back to that sketch then something magical happens.

I think one determining factor of what happens to a sketch after I have been doodling away.... really boils down to the size of paper.  If it were in a small notebook then it will be realized later on a bigger sheet of paper.  If the sketch were done in a bigger sketchpad then I may carry on with that sketch.  Maybe I will clean it up a little bit.  But not too much.  With my illustrations I like to leave some pencil lines behind to show the process and the thought behind the illustration.  Then it is time to ink the illustration and give the lines that I want to accent varying thickness.

Once I decide to move along with the illustration, my next step is to add color to bring it to life.  Usually this begins with me breaking out my Promarkers and not stop until the image is completely colored.  Once colored, if it is a personal drawing (and not for a client) it may stay simply an illustration on paper.  Again these illustrations that have reached the color point may immediately progress further or they may remain simply as a colored illustration.  If I do decide to advance the drawing, then I will scan it into either Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator.  Many times I am quite happy with the look of the sketch with ink and will say it is complete.  Other times I want to bring it into the digital world.  There are factors that have impact on this decision.  I think all artists should always sketch first and then decide to bring an illustration into the digital realm.  Sometimes artwork is perfect staying in ink.

With the two sketches that I want to showcase below you will see how the illustration began as sketch and continued into the ink side of things.

Illustration 1: Candy Girl
This illustration began on my trip to Hamburg to attend the Adobe Influencers Event.  It was simple sketch that I created while in Starbucks.  I later began the bigger drawing on the train back to Düsseldorf and even began slowly inking it.  Keyword is slowly because of the shaky train.  When I got home I began coloring.

Since I am working on a series of illustrations similar to this particular image could end up being turned into a graphic.  If so I would rework some of the colors.  You will have to simply follow my portfolio to see what happens with this illustration.

But I think you will enjoy the evolution of simple sketch into a detailed illustration.

Again there is a chance that this image may reappear in graphic form.  The project that I am working has a series of ten or so illustrations, so this may get added to the mix.  If it does, then there will be some color changes.  You will just have to wait and see.

Illustration 2: SpongeBob Squarepants

The original sketch to this was also created during my trip to Hamburg.  At that time I had no intention in recreating it.  Like I said, sometimes a sketch can become something else later on.  So it is always important to draw when you have motivation to create, because you never know what will happen to the idea in the future.

Every once in awhile, I have sudden urge to create something related to Nickelodeon.  I worked on Nickelodeon's U-Pick Live for two years and even on Blue's Clues when I lived in New York City.  Thus every so often a Nick character appears in my sketchpad.  

One thing that I like to do is reenvision and revamp an existing character into my own style.  Recreating characters and giving them slightly different looks can be quite a bit of fun.  Thus, it is something I like to do when doodling away.

I think the only issue with creating this illustration was that I probably killed my yellow markers in the process.  Which means I have to buy new ones.  Or find a company that will sponsor some of my illustrations to promote their markers.

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