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For Here or To-Go: Creating Bold Illustrative Work Wherever You Are

By Kervin Brisseaux

Inspiration doesn’t always strike when you’re sitting at a desk. The ability to use our ever-present mobile devices to ideate, create, and even complete a final product—without relying on our desktop computers—is one of the greatest things about being a digital creative today.

For the 10th Annual 99U Conference in New York, illustrator Jennet Liaw and I were invited to present a workshop; that workshop included creating a complete itinerary of the event, as well as creating poster illustrations that would be takeaways, using Adobe mobile creation tools.

Below is my poster-creation process (the final poster is shown here—click on the image to enlarge it), using Adobe Photoshop Sketch and Adobe Illustrator Draw on an Apple iPad Pro.

(To see more from this workshop, visit the Behance page we created.)

STEP 1. IMPORTING ASSETS

In Sketch, I started the process by importing an image from Adobe Stock (tap on the plus-sign icon to access that option, as shown in the first image below). I also added a black background by tapping and holding my Apple Pencil within the art canvas in a new layer.

STEP 2. MAPPING OUT THE IDEA

Once I was happy with my stock image of choice, I started sketching my idea using the default graphite pencil. Adjusting the opacity of the stock image aids in making my pencil lines more visible (tap and hold on a layer icon to access its opacity controls). Sketch’s brushes behave like a traditional media brush, just like in Photoshop.

STEP 3. REFINING THE SKETCH

Using the manga and halftone brushes by Kyle T. Webster, I refined my sketch with black line work and shadows to further refine the drawing (tap on the plus sign at the bottom of the brush menu to access the full complement of brushes in Sketch).

STEP 4. GOING FROM SKETCH TO DRAW

Next, I wanted to import my artwork into Draw. While Sketch is a raster-based system, Draw is a vector application that provides quicker coloring methods. Using the Split View feature on the iPad, I dragged the Adobe Draw app window to the right. This allowed me to drag layers between Sketch and Draw.

In Sketch, you touch and hold the first layer and, while still holding down, you can tap multiple layers to add to your selection. Drag your chosen layers over to Draw until the number turns green, and then release.

STEP 5. APPLYING COLOR

In Draw, I began applying colors in a new layer directly underneath my line work. You can quickly fill a shape with color by drawing a completely closed outline and then tapping and holding within that outline. To save your color selections, tap on the plus sign in the color submenu under your brush settings and add it to your current CC library.

STEP 6. SENDING TO PHOTOSHOP

Once I had completed my illustration, I sent it to my desktop machine, via the share button (at the top right of the interface), so I could make a few minor adjustments in Photoshop and prep it for printing (this step requires a CC subscription).

For additional process imagery and time-lapses, visit my Behance page.