MY ILLUSTRATIONS WERE created digitally, but I tried to give them an air of old-timey authenticity by basing them on real 19th century photographs. Here’s how they were created:
I started with an old photograph. I tried to find photos of people who closely matched the image I had of the character in my head. This was Quinn. I’ll post more of my models in a later blog entry here.
Sometimes I reworked the photo by hand, tracing and sketching and scanning it back into the computer.
For group photos, I occasionally took different characters out of different photographs and made a composite.
Other times I simply traced the photograph as it appeared on my computer screen. I used a software program called Adobe Illustrator. It’s a vector-based drawing program, which means it’s a bit like creating one’s own dot-to-dot.
After tracing, I filled in the elements with blocks of flat color.
Then I refined the art with thin lines and more color. I often played with the hair or clothes, if what I wanted the character to look like differed from the original photograph.
Finally, I added the background. I made the background patterns by tracing old Victorian wallpaper patterns.