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What are drawing techniques you use for digital graphics?

Whether it be drawing with a pencil, scanning; or using illustrator from scratch. What are some methods you incorporate? Tips and tricks are welcome.

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This question is prone to discussion and doesn't address a specific issue, hence the downvote. Kindly frame questions that address some specific issue you might be facing, better one that might serve a community of people upon being answered. –  ikartik90 Mar 8 '13 at 10:33

1 Answer 1

To be perfectly frank, the best answer is "Whatever works for you." or "Whatever the project calls for."

A great deal of my workflow is determined by the project itself.

For example, if creating a basic cartoon or comic piece of artwork, I often start with pen and paper and then scan, Image Trace, and clean up in Illustrator.

However, there are also times where I can easily start with Illustrator as well. It all really depends on the style I'm aiming for. One thing is for certain, I never waste time struggling with software. If I have any difficulty pulling something off on screen, I immediately pick up a pen an paper.

For some projects or more detailed artwork, I'll use a combination of software and traditional media. It can be much easier to pull off a textured or natural brush stroke feel by actually creating those manually and scanning, then painting over the scans for other elements.

Most of my artwork is round trip. At some point I almost always end up drawing something by hand and scanning. I'll even print what I've got on screen, refine it by hand, then scan it back in.

If you're interested in Illustrator and vector artwork primarily, you might want to check out Von Glitschka's book Vector Basic Training Many of the techniques Von uses are similar to what I use.

Raster artwork can be a bit different. I'll often start and end in Photoshop for raster artwork. Many natural things are more easily accomplished with rasters given the fact that the need for precision is not as great. In addition, photos can be manipulated and used for the basis for some objects. (My own photos, not google image search photos).

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