I am working on a non-book project at the moment, with what is either the best OR worst brief you can get! It's one of those "do whatever you like" briefs. Initially these are exciting but when you actually sit down to start it's almost overwhelming.
Where DO you start when you can do absolutely anything?! Oh, and the footnote is that it has to be really unique - unlike anything seen out there...including my own usual style of working! Yep - overwhelming!
I find the best thing to do in these situations is to just make a start. I usually get out my favourite books and start to gather a collection of things that inspire me and make me want to pick up a pencil and draw.
A few years ago a developed a bit of cheats technique to create the hand painted look without learning Photoshop. Even though I am more comfortable with Photoshop now, I quite like the final look that this technique results in and it remains vector artwork too.
Basically I break down all the parts of the image into movable pieces and what I think will become individual colours. I then hand paint them in a dark colour. The focus is on creating the feel of brush strokes.
Then I streamline the shapes (live trace) them in Illustrator, so that they become a series of textured shapes - a bit like this.
Then I colour and layer them up into one final image that looks hand painted.
Yeah, I know it's not exactly a totally new and "never been done before", AND I could just hand paint the whole image and scan it, but I enjoy the final result I get from working this way.
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