Okay, so this is how the magic began. On lined paper. Looking like my nine-year-old did it.
1.) I scanned it in, resized it, then printed it out in a larger dimension, using a lightbox to transfer the rough outlines onto Borden and Riley #234 Bleedproof Pen Paper, because pencil doesn't get in the tooth (there IS no tooth!) It takes erasing great.
2.) I started drawing, getting as far as I could w/o reference. For this particular project, I wanted to work with very few references, mostly to test how brilliant (or shitty) my memory was. This is a really good thing to do every now and again if you feel yourself becoming way too dependent upon photos for your inspiration. I mean, haven't we (artists) all been incredibly frustrated at one point or another by our inability to find JUST the right ref for the pose we see in our mind's eye? It can't just be me...
3.) NOW, it's ref time. Again, I used as few as I felt I could get away with.
4.) Scanned it in again, transporting it back into Photoshop for the linework because, damn, my pencil sketching SUCKS. It's not at all cute. Gotta work on that. I want cute pencils.
On a seperate layer, I drew the lines with a simple, hard-edged #7 brush, tapering and cleaning up with the eraser tool as need be. The background lines and each character had its own layer. Fiddled until I was happy with the proportions. I highly recommend working on a medium-toned fill layer beneath the lines; it's less stressful on the eyes and you can adjust the opacity if you want to see, or not see, your original pencils underneath.
5.) Underneath the lines, on the grey layer, I created some really coarse, and I DO mean coarse, b&w tinting. I was crunched for time; can you tell? But it turned out okay. (Obviously, I’ve turned off all the line layers.) Lastly, I put some colored layers atop the whole shebang, playing with the different layer settings until I got the effect I liked.
And we get this!
Be amazed by my ability to make a silk-ish purse from a sow’s ear. :D