Monday, December 20, 2010

Illustration Friday - Mail

It's been a while since I've had time to do a posting, but now that I'm feeling a little more caught up, I can post my latest entry for Illustration Friday. This week's word is 'Mail.' The holiday season creates a heavier work load for a lot of people, but only a few of those people have to do that extra work out in the rain, sleet and snow. Your neighborhood post-person is one of those people. Even in this era of email, when fewer people are mailing Christmas cards, there are still lots of packages to deliver. When I read the email with this week's word, I had just returned from the post office and had waited in line for close to half an hour, so the mail service was on my mind. So this is my tribute to those men and women who make sure that the mail gets through in all kinds of weather.

In my first sketch, the mailman looked a bit too much like Bob Cratchit in "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol," which I had just finished watching before I made this sketch, so I revised it and made him into a slightly older man with a mustache and white hair.

Here is the cleaned up and revised sketch.

After finalizing my sketch, I placed it into a new Adobe Illustrator file and began to trace the shapes. You can see the start of that process in this screen shot.

Here is the illustrator file with all of the original colors in place.  When I got to this stage, I exported the file as a photoshop file (.psd) and then opened that file in Photoshop, where I ran the layers through some 'Mister Retro' distressing filters to give the colors a more vintage feel. I also added a hue/saturation adjustment layer where I changed the colors to give it a colder, more wintry look.

I then re-opened the file in Painter where I put in some of the line details using a leaky pen brush and some snow texture using some of Painter's chalk and pastel brushes.

After saving the file again as a .psd file, I re-opened it one more time in Photoshop where I ran it through a 'Machine Wash,' filter to give the snow and sky a more scuffed texture.  I also decided to crop the image. I'm having a hard time deciding which I like better - this final cropped version, or the version just proceeding it? Comments are always appreciated!


  1. Vincent, I love your work. This is great! Nice textures.

  2. Great work, the temperature of the colors is fine!

  3. Brrr-isk and crisp! Heroic delivery! :o)
    Merry Christmas to you!

  4. Great to see all the stages. I like the final version the most.

  5. Great job! I love your illustrations.

  6. It was awesome reading your process to getting to the final image. Really great work. Personally I like the version preceeding the cropped one a lot more.

  7. Vincent, your work get's better and better, I love this! Happy Holidays!!!

  8. Beautiful work as always! Thanks for all the interesting and helpful posts!
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!