How Nick Makes

Here's how I bring your custom illustrated stories to life. Each illustration can take 20+ hours to craft.


Step 1 - Sketches and Ideation

Starting with thumbnail sketches, I draw loose sketches of your story as I gather details from you. This is done while on our complimentary phone call or through email. 

I think of various "camera" angles and ways of displaying the story.

TIME: 1 - 2 hours

Step 2 - Tightened Pencil Drawings

Once a thumbnail you and I like is selected, I go about tightening the sketch in pencil, making sure to capture the characters' expressions and details.

time: 2 hours

Step 3 - Final Pencil Drawing

Using a lightbox, I go over my loose sketches and draft pencil drawings to tighten up the drawings. This is where the real magic happens, as these will be the drawings that will form the line work for the finished piece.

time: 2 - 4 hours

Step 4 - Scan & Clean Line Work

I scan in the tightened line drawings and knock out the background in Photoshop so I can paint underneath the lines for the finished piece. 

This step can take some time depending on the complexities of the lines.

Some pieces require inking, which would be done after the finished line work is completed.

time: 1 - 2 hours

Step 5 - Color & Finish

I complete the art in Photoshop with the coloring process. 

Coloring can take as much time as Steps 1 - 4 combined, depending on the complexities and number of items needed to color. 

time: 5 - 10 hours

Here are all the steps (including inking!) from start to finish: