1. Draw the rough outlines. I focus on proportions, not accuracy. This is crucial. Why? Because at this stage you can still alter everything. Later on, there is not much room left for alterations. Know what kind of look you want to have, and when you feel safe and every line and curve is determined, you move on.
2. Add more contrast to the lines that matter most. For instance, I know that most of the time I will add shadows to the outsole, so I emphasize the line that resembles the horizon.
3. Color blocking. Know your colors. Know what you want. You can always go darker, but you can’t always “go back” to a lighter hue. I used some Pantone warm gray and Copic warm gray here. Sometimes, before I color the spaces, I find it helpful to leave out the spaces that reflect most of the light, and therefore mark them with a pencil.
4. Second and third layer of color. During this process, I switch back and forth to my Faber-Castell color pencil and add more contrast, more depth, more shadows. Depends on what kind of hue you want.
5. At this stage, most of the work is done. I add details. I share a secret with you here: Slow down. When adding more and more and more, it sums up to be just a bunch of stuff, but no coherent picture.
6. I usually add at least one reflection color. A smooth, polished surface reflects light and reflections from surrounding objects, i.e. background or the table something is placed on. Look up M.C. Escher.
7. The last step is adding little highlight reflections with a correction pen. I am notoriously adding too much, but, what the hell do I know?
Disclaimer: Learning by doing. I am not a professional or a teacher 🙂
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