This recent illustration was very exciting for me to produce as it incorporated photography, hand drawing using a digital drawing pen, traditional coloring with markers and pencils, plus digital layering in Adobe Photoshop. My challenge was to illustrate several steps in the process of collecting, processing, storing and managing artifacts within a natural history museum. Here are the step-by-steps of my amazing visualization process!
Step 1 -Digital Photograph. I took the digital photo as scientists were actively working on a new collection of fossil bones wrapped in plaster. They were carefully chipping away the plaster cast and vacuuming the dust.
Step 2 - Photo Editing. I trimmed away areas of the original digital photograph in Photoshop to reveal only the information I deemed vital to the illustration.
Step 3 - Digital Linework. Using a Wacom Cintiq interactive monitor, I traced over the photograph in Adobe Photoshop and created all of the linework for the illustration. I created the string grid on a separate layer to avoid interfering with the base drawing in the event my linework conflicted with the base drawing.
Step 4 - Photoshop Composite. I combined the digital linework with the original photographed and lightened the image in Photoshop prior to printing it on matte finish paper.
Step 5 - Hand Coloring. I printed the image 13”x19” on Epson matte finish paper and colored the illustration with Chartpak AD markers and Prismacolor pencils. Much of the photograph was visible in the final image and provided the much needed tonal characteristics of the plaster cast beneath the fossils.
Step 6 - Final Image Collage. This image along with four others composed the overall collage of illustrations representing the process of the collections wing of a major museum of natural history.
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