Friday, October 02, 2015

Art for Hope Nepal Process

With NYCC right around the corner, I can finally share something I'm really excited about!

Right after ALA I was asked by the phenomenal Joel Enos to participate in Art for Hope Nepal by contributing an illustration made in Autodesk's Sketchbook Pro.  Although I haven't used Sketchbook Pro for more than doodles, I was happy to volunteer a donated image, as I figured I'm pretty competent with digital art programs in general, and my Surface Pro 3 makes drawing digitally much easier.  I finished my illustration a couple weeks after I got back from Mechacon, and although it's simple, I'm pleased with the result, and I learned a lot while using Sketchbook Pro.

You can find out more about Art for Hope Nepal on Autodesk Sketchbook's blog and check out a few samples through this teaser preview!

Art for Hope Nepal goes live on October 7th, and you can get your copy through, kingle, kobo, Google Play, nook, and through several other sites then.  If you're at NYCC, you can even check out some of the art live, as there'll be posters and four artists will be there doing signings.  Unfortunately, I can't make it to NYCC this year, so I'll be in Nashville doing Handmade and Bound instead.

You purchase your own copy from   And check out the Autodesk Twitter (@SketchBookPro), the Perfect Square Twitter (@PerfectSqrBooksand Viz's Twitter (@vizmedia) for even more Art for Hope Nepal illustrations!

Here's the finished illustration, and below the cut is my process.

Hope Whispers in Your Ear

Hope whispers dreams of happier tomorrows while today is still distraught.  My piece has a young Nepali woman heeding Hope's wisdom and turning her vision forward, away from the disastrous past.  For anyone who has suffered, it is better to focus on positive change , rather than linger on prior pain.

Art for Hope Nepal Process


The only time I used traditional media was during the thumbnail, which was a tiny 2"x3" doodle I drew in my sketchbook with black color pencil.  I took a photo of that using my Surface Pro 3, and opened it in Sketchbook Pro.

Blueline Sketch

Tightening Up Bluelines

Blocking in Colors

 Normally I color after I've completed the lineart, but I wanted to try doing lineart influenced by the object's color.  I know a few tricks for doing that easily in Photoshop, but since I am far less familiar with Sketchbook Pro's magic tricks, I opted for the old fashioned method.

Colored Lineart

Detailing Background

The reference I collected for Nepal were mostly lovely mountain meadows, and I wanted that atmosphere in my illustration.  I also wanted that high, endless blue sky, and the cloud shrouded mountains.  The sky is simply a gradient layer set to multiply, and the clouds are a large brush set to very low opacity and layered.


Finished Piece

I found it easier to sketch in Sketchbook Pro than it is in Photoshop, and although I started using the program with zero familiarity with the settings or tool features, I quickly learned through experimenting how to get what I wanted.   The menus and gestures are quite intuitive if you're using a tablet, and although it took me awhile to get the piece completed, I'm pretty happy with the result.