The project commences once we have a signed work order or contract laying out the project parameters, with relevant research material or photo references as applicable. We use relatively the same process for both commercial work and private commissions. Communication with our clients throughout the process is very important to us to ensure needs and expectations are met as efficiently as possible.
Step 1 – Pencil Sketch
This is quite literally as it sounds! We create a series of thumbnail sketches with graphite pencil to explore various basic composition layouts. We reference the strongest thumbnails to create larger conceptual sketches. We share these conceptual sketches with you to show the look we are proposing for your project. Often times we explore options and alter things if you desire changes. With your approval we move on to step two.
Step 2 – Clean up. This is a process that takes time as we pay attention to the smoothness of every stroke, creating visual interest through line variation, and the overall feel of heavy or light line work to support what the project calls for. Next is step three.
Step 3 – Color Rough
This process determines the color palette for the project. We make copies of the project and quickly lay down colors we plan on using. In the comic industry this would be known as laying the flat color. Color theory comes into play as picking the right pigments, and paying attention to how they interact with each other, can make or break an image. This process might be repeated if you desire changes. After client approval we move on to step four.
Step 4 – Final color rendering
Here is where the magic happens. We take the color rough as a map, add highlights and shadows, and do the final color rendering. This is the final step and can occasionally be time consuming. We use our knowledge of value contrast, pigment, and temperature to make the image eye catching. Once completed we send you a watermarked low resolution copy for final review before payment.
Step 5 – Payment and Delivery
We prefer to be paid either through paypal or by check, unless other arrangements are made prior. Once payment is processed we send out the finished artwork or release the high resolution files. We do this based on the details in the contract or work order. This can vary from shipping the original artwork or disk through Fed Ex, UPS, or USPS. Other options for digital work include uploading to an FTP site such as filezilla or dropbox, or emailing the work if the project is small enough.