Monthly Archives: January 2011

Illustration Process: Flatting

Here we go with the boring part of this illustration: flatting. In essence I’m blocking in color, or in this case, grays. Each major section of the illustration gets colored in with a flat color (hence “flatting”) and they’re each on their own layer. There are several advantages to this approach.

First off, I can adjust the tones until I get the atmosphere I want. And get the focal points where I want them. Second, having each element on its own layer makes the detailing and texturing steps a lot easier.

It looks sloppy but here’s the flat stage:


Another illustration

Here we go with the second sample illustration from the novel. I’m doing a bit better recording the process on this drawing. This drawing shows the arrival of Christopher Aggler and the two spying faces of Alex and Emma. Here is the scanned inks:


As you can see, the drawing had to be scanned in two parts and pieced together in Photoshop. I line up the two scans as best I can then use the eraser to “blend” the seam. After that I mess with the levels to get nice, crisp line art:


Once I’ve rid myself of the blue pencil lines, I convert the image to grayscale, select the gray channel and fill it with black on a new layer. Now I have all the black lines on a transparent sheet which makes the coloring process easier.

In the next installment I’ll show the flatting process (insert yawn here).

First look: Book Illustration

Here it is. The first sample illustration for the novel: