For quite a while, I’ve put my comic series, Green Corner, on hold. This wasn’t an easy decision for me to make, but I didn’t have the time to devote to creating the quality work that I wanted. I opted to temporarily put aside this personal project due to more pressing obligations such as my work as an in-house graphic designer in another town and, in recent months, freelance work.

Since my primary income has switched to freelancing for the time being, I have more time than when I was working on-site for a client as I’m not traveling very much.

I took some time tonight to start on the digital version of a new illustration of the protagonist of Green Corner. I haven’t had the chance to fully take advantage of having Illustrator CS3 for this type of work until now. My favourite feature has to be live paint (introduced in CS2).

It took an hour and 35 minutes to draw the linework for this piece, including the tweaking of some details. I don’t use live trace for this type of illustration as I usually draw or sketch in pencil. Live trace works better for drawings with stark contrast (e.g. pen and ink). Besides, I like the flexibility of using brushes and tweaking individual paths. I switch between the pen and pencil tools frequently.

Laying the flat colour and adding a couple extra details took 13 and a half minutes. That’s a huge difference from the amount of time it would take with the old method that I was using with Illustrator 9. This also means that when I do the shading, it will be pretty quick too. I’m also happy to have a swatch library for my Green Corner swatches, as I previously had to copy and paste or manually input colour values as needed in each file.

I think I still need to tweak Aena’s right hand and thigh slightly in this image, but I’m pretty happy with where it’s going. I’m not completely sure about the length of her arms either, so I may adjust those as well. I think I need to get into the habit of sketching figures more regularly by hand, as I tend to revise more when I’m out of practice.

I am planning to post an Illustrator tutorial here in the future, for my method of creating pages for Green Corner. I’ll be making the tutorial with page seven (I’m still working on linework for page six), and I’ll be sure to include notes about the old method I used for colouring and shading. I hope that it will be interesting and educational for those of you not as familiar with Illustrator.

I hope to be creating and sharing more Green Corner artwork in the future. I have missed working on it.