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After posting one of my first videos on YouTube about the way I draw, I received a lot of feedback and questions from my viewers asking for tips and tricks to achieve a similar effect. They were expecting a complicated combination of techniques but they were surprised to find out that my work defies such concepts - sorry guys didn’t mean to! :)
As a way to make it up to you, here's a brief description of the process where I also attempt to answer most of your common questions.
OLD SCHOOL vs NEW SCHOOL
I love to draw on paper and like everyone else, I started with it, but since I do this for a living I do 100% of my work on my Wacom Cintiq tablet. You’re probably wondering why. I have no excuse, I find really comfortable to work on it and it lets me work really fast. Sketching everything digitally also let me always have access to my sketches no matter where I am.
I still draw on paper though, but just for fun and personal projects.
NO TIME TO EXPLAIN
When starting to work in a new idea, I always make several super quick sketches to decide the best way to represent it in order not only to make it understandable but also to be understood as quick as possible. When working on illustrations for social networks, you have like 2-3 seconds of your audience attention, and you need to make sure you get to them in that time. This is for me the most important part of an illustration, you can ruin a great idea by representing it in a too complex way.
BUT.. WHY PHOTOSHOP? ** tips alert **
That’s one of the most frequent questions that I usually receive. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Illustrator but I genuinely love photoshop because it creates little imperfections in my drawings. With vectors everything is too perfect, unless you simulate these imperfections by hand later, but that's not the same you know. I think that making the shapes not completely accurate give personality to my characters and that's the key of my work.
That's what I mean:
and now COLOR ME UP!
The coloring is when the fun begins. I like to draw using my colors, it's not filling the blanks. You can use colors and shading to add secondary details to the illustrations to make them more interesting. Most of my line work is usually really simple if you don't count color. I always make color sketches to get a better idea of the final result:
SHADOWS SECRETS ** Tips alert **
For shadows even to cartoonish and simple stuff, you need to look at real life, to keep always in mind where does the light come from and to draw imaginary lines in your head to get a better idea where will the light reach and where won't. Also, something I find really helpful is to add secondary lighting in order to make it pop out more. Remember that darker areas will get a more noticeable light rebound from other light sources, so you can use these sources to make the volume more noticeable.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Simplicity is not as simple.
This is a tricky one I know, I love to keep it simple and I am a fan of “Less is more” but contrary to what it might seem it's not so simple :) When you do this kind of stuff, or minimalistic, you'll draw fewer details and lines, but you need every single stroke to be in the right place. For more detailed illustrations, you can have small parts that are a bit more crazy, with loose lines etc, but for minimalism, you need all lines to work together and to keep consistency in the level of detail over the whole illustration.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope that you guys will find this piece helpful. Feel free to suggest any new tips or ask me any questions I will be happy to answer!