I wanted to share my process for my Dogs in Coats illustration. It was a really fun process and a lot of people loved these dogs, so this lets me share a few more.
It’s been an extra cold winter here in Canada, and after seeing all the adorable critters bundled up against the wind and snow, I absolutely had to draw them. Some of the dogs in the final illustration are from my own imagination, but many of them were inspired by real dogs. The boxer in particular was a real dog! And she definitely looked like she hated her flowery jacket. When I would see a dog I loved I’d try to snap a picture, but if I couldn’t I’d draw a sketch when I got home as quickly as I could.
Any illustration I create starts with a series of loose thumbnails. This is probably the most part of the process, it’s where the energy and movement of the character is created. An illustration that’s created straight from a first sketch will often end up looking stiff and lifeless.
As you can see from the sketches there were many dogs who didn’t make it to the final illustration. I loved all the dogs I sketched out, but time made it so I had to pick the best ones. After I’ve picked the best sketches I re-draw them and refine it. I scan the refined sketch and ink it digitally. Right now I’m in love with Manga Studio 5. The pens have a nice soft feel that works really well with my line work.
Here’s a mashup of my process, sketch, inking and color.
This was a personal project, and I loved creating these characters so much I’m already planning out my next project with them. They are just begging to have a story written about them.