The process of creating
Monster & Me
Rough! Rough! Rough! Ooooh (hands over eyes), I look back now and again at some of my initial drawings (such as the one above) and quite often cringe.
All of my drawings evolve over their creation period but the initial drawing is so valuable to me. 

It's the idea that counts here and without these ideas I'm going to struggle to draw anything. Even if somebody tells me what they want, I still have to picture it in my mind and put it down on paper. Imagination and ideas are pivotal to an illustrator.
I pride myself of having a great imagination and feel blessed to be able to get that from my mind to the screen.
Here you can see I have taken the initial idea of Monster and Me from above and started to look at different ways of posing the characters so they aren't stood to attention.
I'm still working here in traditional media to get down what's in my head. I liked the direction this was going, with the pose, character and size ratios.
I wanted the monster to appear friendly and both characters to have a sense of movement.
This is another slight variation, this time in blue pencil. I find it helps my line-work loosen up and is also a traditional method used by animators. One thing I found when studying Illustration is that I was trying to make every sketch I created a final piece.
Working loosely and getting things wrong are all part of the developmental process. Don't be too precious!!
Who cares if the hand doesn't look right, who cares if the head is wonky? It's the final piece that matters and to get to that, I have to create these sketches. 
It's digital time baby! I use a digital pen for this and draw straight onto my tablet's screen. I take a picture of the finished sketch and place it in Photoshop (other editing software is available). I then create another layer above this and lower the opacity so I can just see the original. Still working as loose as I can, I look at improving my lines and making them flow better. As you can see above, I have altered the feet and legs of the monster quite a lot as I didn't like how they looked before.
I also look at the line of action and see if I can still push that pose further.
Line of action is an imaginary line that flows through a character so that they don't look wooden or as stiff as a lamp post (sorry lamp post, love ya really).
I spent lots of time choosing my digital drawing, inking and painting brushes for my style. In fact, I think I managed to grow a big beard from start to finish on trying out various brushes!
So now that I'm happy with the pose of both characters, it's time to ink.
Keeping the line simple and altering between thick and thin, even at this stage I don't feel the need to stick to the original drawing and sometimes I add flicks, curls and other small alterations.
Colour baby, yeah!!! Here we go, this is where the characters really start to come to life. Using my preferred brush, I create a separate layer for each colour of every character (very time consuming but worth it as I can easily change the colours later on).
More colour and shading using the same brush. Just spending time filling the characters at this stage. I'll go back later and refine the colours.
This time I'm adding highlights and textures using different brushes. Adding a shadow grounds the characters and I can use sharp highlights or quite subtle ones, depending on my mood and what I think befits the picture.
And viola!!! A background, a boost of saturation, a few more tweaks and it's done.
I hope you've enjoyed having a brief look into my process of creating an illustration from just a simple idea. This process happens to all of my illustrations and is not a quick five minute turnaround. Each decision I make is a decision that I feel improves the final result.
I always want to create a well balanced picture and be able to produce a picture that doesn't necessarily need words to tell the story.
Creating a picture is not just about putting pen to paper, you have to put part of yourself into it. Then the characters and scenes can truly come to life.
It's almost like a form of acting or role play.
Thanks for listening to me blah, blah, blah! I hope this helps anybody in the future.
If you have any nice comments, I'd love to hear them.
Please feel free to add them to my social pages via the links above.
Or drop me an email via the 'About Me' page.
Any bad comments, please feel free to write them down on a piece of paper, fold it up into a paper plane and whizz it out the window.

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