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Gather Reference Material

This stage allows me to prepare for the drawing phase, by gathering reference materials. This is the fun part of finding costumes, models, props that will provide me with visual information for my painting. 

Thumbnails
The thumbnail phase is the most crucial part of the illustration process. This is an opportunity to explore various ideas quickly.  These sketches should be kept small, loose so the artist does not get caught up in details. Thumbnails are about exploration, where the goal is to develop variations of an idea. 

Paint Final Image

At this stage, all the information has been gathered and the plan has been laid out for the final execution. All the colors are being taken directly from the color study. The value study also informs me of a solid value structure to work off.  All these steps ensure  a higher probability of a successful painting. 

Develop Drawing
I take the design I created in thumbnail phase and start developing a comprehensive drawing. I use my reference materials and develop the different elements of my drawing.  During this stage, I’m mostly concerned about my line drawing. It is also critical for me to capture the figures expressions and emotions through gestures and facial expressions. I work on that until I feel I have an appealing character. 

Color Study and Value Study

I create a color study first and evaluate my value structure. While working on the colors study, I want to make sure my colors are harmonized. I check my value structure and try to limited composition to 3 or 4 values. This helps increase legibility and create a sense of depth.