How I do what I do

by Gary Lacoste


tl_files/content/sketchblog/2013/steps1.jpg1. Thumbnails

This illustration was for the cover of a book catalog (QPB). I was asked to come up with some summertime scenes focusing on reading. I worked with QPB quite regularly so they were comfortable with seeing rough initial sketches. Mom reading by the glow of lightning bugs was my favorite but the fishing cover got the final nod.



2. Final pencil

The intial sketch is redrawn for final approval.



3. Line art

Once approved the final pencil is placed into illustrator and traced. Line weights are varied to better define the characters. Grays are used to fill the lineart and draw the background.



4. Flat color

The artwork is then filled in with flat color. Sometimes gradients are used as in the bodies of the fish and the water.



5. Adding highlights, shadows, and coloring outlines

My favorite part. At this point the artwork finally starts to come to life. Paths are drawn for highlights and shadows.

tl_files/content/sketchblog/2013/steps7.jpgThis side by side shows how all the little details make a big difference.



6. Photoshop

After adding all the highlights and shadows to the background the Illustrator file is brought into Photoshop. Here I'll add any textures and usually adjust the overall color of the scene.



7. FInal cover

What happened to the sunset you ask? The client thought the colors of the sunset were more autumnal as opposed to summer so I had to go back in and revise the art as a nice, bright sunny day. Lucky I keep those illustrator files handy:)



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