(click the image to see it larger)
I'm really happy with how these little guys turned out. They were super fun to draw, and I loved using my Prismacolors again for a whole, entire illustration. (Thank you Bostitch Super Pro 6 pencil sharpener for making that possible!)
This guy is very proud to be first in line in the procession, and has been practicing his fife music a lot, making sure he was ready for today.
This guy lost his nice tricorn hat in a horse-and-wagon mishap just before he had to step into line here, but is trying to put on a brave face, and is very proud that he gets to be the one carrying the flag.
And this guy has been driving his family nuts, practicing the drums, but they all know its worth it when they see him marching and drumming so well with his friends.
I did this whole thing with colored pencils. And I managed to keep it pretty clean. But even so, it needed a little tweak with Photoshop at the end to look even better. So I thought I'd show you a little 'behind the scenes' look at how things magically get cleaned up before going to print.
This is how it looked straight from the scanner. Its a little 'dirty', and the scanner made a dark edge on the left. Its also a little crooked.
Then here it is cleaned up, and straightened out.
Here's a close up showing one little piece, with the background as it was, then cleaned up.
Can you see how grey the background looks on the left, and all the little 'bits of stuff'? That's the paper texture, and little flecks of pencil that, no matter how careful you are, deposit themselves on the paper and refuse to come off. So, with the help of the eraser tool in Photoshop, I painstakingly go around each figure and erase all of that out, leaving a nice clean background.
I also use the clone tool to carefully pick out any little stray flecks of something that may land on the actual image (here, there was a tiny grain of dark color on his nose).
When I'm working on a piece that I know is going to be printed, and make a little goof or stray mark, I find myself going "That's OK, I'll fix it with Photoshop", and keep going. But when you're doing something where the original art is IT, like a commissioned piece, you have to be really really careful, because there is no room for mistakes, and there is no fixing the final art with Photoshop! The piece has to be perfect (no pressure).