Part 1: We are artists. I have a formal background in art and design and Kristina has taken up illustration as a hobby.
Part 2: We love to learn. We are firm believers that you should never stop learning. The world is forever changing. It's important to stay on top of trends, technology, business practices, laws, etc.
Part 3: How do we learn? Personally we've been very lucky to have industry mentors and close friends to use as a sounding board. We do realize though that those resources might not be available to everyone. That's why we want to give back. The internet is an amazing resource and but you can easily spend hours tracking down info. We realize time is valuable and that's why want the Dendo blog to be a hub artistic information.
To kick things off, below is a step by step tutorial of how we created one of our recent pieces for Dendo. By no means is our process the right way or the only way, it's just our way. The ultimate intent is to inspire all of you to try new things and find your own artistic voice. Thanks as always for being an awesome community and supporters of our art!
-Dan and Kristina
Tools used: Moleskin notebook, Prismacolor col-erase pencil (for underdrawing), Pentel pocket brush pen, Copic markers, Uni-ball Signo white pen, custom made stamps and stamp pad
Step 1: Before we even put pencil to paper we have to come up with an idea. What will this drawing be about? In this example, I was already in the process of drawing the original 151 Pokemon as Gundam. Charizard was the next one in the line so that was our theme.
Step 2: Gather reference photography. See our previous blog post about reference photos.
Step 3: Create your under drawing. I tend to be very loose in this stage. I like having some flexibility at the inking stage to make changes. Sometimes I get additional ideas as the drawing progresses.
Step 4: Ink! I used Micron technical pens for years. I loved them but I felt they were slowing my progress down and making my drawings 'stiff.' I changed over to the Pentel brush pen about 3 years ago and it's really changed the way I draw. I'm much faster and looser now. It might not be everyone's personal aesthetic but it works for me.
Take your time on this stage and make sure you get all the detail you want in the drawing. Make sure to balance light and dark. A good ink drawing should be able to stand on it's own without the need of color.
Part 5: Add in color. This is another stage that has evolved quite a bit for me over the years. I would spend hours rendering drawings with multiple shades of markers to build up values. The results were good but it was tedious. Now, I use flat colors and minimal shadows. This has helped my speed increase and keeps these drawings fun for me!
Part 6: Add in 'hot' highlights. Last part for me. It's the small white details that really make certain areas of the drawings pop. Make sure not to go overboard with this. Too much and it causes the drawing to get very busy and distracts from the overall piece. Focus on a few key areas and highlight those. The eyes are typically a great place to start.