For the first entry of my blog I´ll write a brief description of my general work process. Although it may seem a bit simple, I think this information can be useful for the people that don´t know much about art, but want to ask for a commission. I think pretty much everybody follows the same script. Some artists may not do too many sketches or none at all, work over a sketch for the final piece, work only digitally, or mixed with traditional tools... But in the end, we all must stick to the same steps.
Every one of these steps is as important as the rest, but the sketching is the one that will determine the others. In this step we distribute the elements of the illustration on the canvas, considering multiple things as composition, best focus point depending on what must be portrayed, lighting, mood...
Sketches are key not just for the artist, but also for the commissioner of the illustration (words work differently than images, and the sketch is the best way to see how you want your concept shown).
Once I´m happy with certain elements of the sketches, it´s the time to put all that in the final pencil drawing. This stage can be a clean bare-bones, to be inked/colored later, or a finished piece in itself (the shading work would be done with pencils). If the illustration will be traditionally made, this is the last step in which will be relatively easy to correct or change any element of the picture. It´s still possible to make corrections afterwards but the result may be compromised. This doesnt apply too much to digital paintings, although changing some details may lead to a different, potentially worse composition or color balance.
Inking and Coloring
These steps are self-descriptive, and the process may vary: Wether it´s inked and/or painted, the three steps work well together, as they are three different drawings put together (each stage provides different kind of graphic information). So, sometimes you can cover and erase the pencil with the inks for a cleaner finishing, leave it for a rougher, dirtier effect... the possibility range is very wide.