I keep a sketchbook handy. They’re all over the place. I keep one by the bed and I’ve woken up in the middle of the night and scribbled something nearly unintelligible down because I’ve learned if I don’t — no matter how much I think I’ll remember that great idea — it’s gone when I wake up. Or at least, it’s not as convincing as it was at 3am.
I’ve largely transitioned to digital for creating, because, frankly I find it more forgiving and more convenient. When all I had to do was pack a tablet to the Natural History museum instead of pad, satchel full of pens and erasers — it was that much easier and the results were no less satisfying:
With that pencil sketch I’ll move to either the Paper on the iPad, Autodesk Sketchbook, Photoshop or Mischief on Mac OS X. I haven’t really settled on a favorite except I like using illustrator for the final step.
From that sketch I refine the lines once or twice and then move into inking.
Once the major forms are worked out, then I usually start adding background detail:
Then I start adding the shading via cross hatching — which is either medatative or tedious, depending on the mood I’m in. Usually if it’s the latter I take a break and do something else, because I can always tell when I’m rushing it.