Cowbotkey Tee Graphic - Step by Step

April 9, 2013

So here's a look at my mockups for the finished shirt, thanks to GoMedia and their satellite site . Looks pretty wicked! I had a lot of fun with this one, and thought it might be even more fun to show the steps involved. This one went pretty quick, and my vision was pretty clear for it, so I went straight to a color sketch!

I drew this out and layed down some simple colors, then sent the approval sketch to the client, who almost immediatly said 'YES PLEASE.'

I got some proofs done lastnight and decided, that monkey would be lots of fun so I wanted to get working on it right away. I started by importing the photoshop jpg into inkscape, where i set it on opacity locked the layer, and made a 'inks' layer above and got to work. i used my wacom pen and hand brush inked all the lines. The beauty of this is it looks hand drawn but is 100% vector!

Then added a new layer so it doesn't conflict/ mess with the lineart layer i was happy with and i added in black fills and shadows to give it more mass and depth.

A layer underthat is where I traced out the different color areas one by one with a pen tool, again everythings vector here!

Then I made a 'shades' layer and used black and added shadows in various areas, then dropped back to opacity about 50%

And theres something about an image, its just not done till you go back in with whites or highlights and really play off the shadows with areas of spotlights. And it just brought the monkey alive to add a little psychotic light swirl in them beady red eyes.
And here is the finished art minus a drop shadow. The dropshadow I ended up putting under the monkey helps ground it to the shirt its printed on. I gave the client two files. One with a lighter shadow for lighter shirts (allowing the monkey better contrast against the shadow) and a darker shadow version for darker shirts (so the shadows there but not competing with the monkey)

Hope you enjoyed this look at the process of a Tshirt graphic! Feel free to comment below I always like hearing feedback on how I'm doing or what I could be doing different! 

See how the lighter drop shadow competes with the black shirt? Though I kinda dig it in any case :) 

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