Sometimes, on the fun occasions, I get to do some hand lettering and illustrations at my day job. And ever since we started working with Nebraska Wines, those sometimes have become more frequent and I find myself keeping Illustrator open and ready on my desktop at most times.
So therefore, when I was tasked to draw something “god-like” for the representation of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, I pulled up some Caravaggio and got a little line-crazy.
Step 1: reference photo. While I had no intentions of creating a copy of this Italian masterpiece, it is always a good idea to keep some kind of reference at hand, whether it be for proportions, facial expressions or just to keep in mind what it really looks like.
Step 2: pencil sketch followed by inking. Roughing it up with a pencil is one of my favorite hobbies, and there is nothing quite as therapeutic as bringing those shapes out from the graphite mess with a fine tipped pen. Micron 01 is my forever go-to.
And while a scanner is preferable, whatever you have on hand to transfer the image to digital is obviously the best way to go. In this case, it was the camera on my phone, since my big girl camera charger is still MIA.
Step 3: bring that bad boy into illustrator and image trace the heck out of it. This is where I would clean up lines and adjust the levels of the final image. In the end, I decided to leave a lot of the messier linework be, and maintain Bacchus’ hand drawn feel.
Step 3: for the final, Facebook-ready image, Bacchus gets placed into a Photoshop file where all the layering comes together. Some background photos, a little bit of softening, coloring, overlaying and finally a logo and some brand-compliant typography.
Fun, fun, fun.