To the left is my original sketch for my first attempt, the version with the girl in the window seat. Below it is is the finished digital watercolor and pen illustration. There are certain things I like about this illustration (the color scheme, some of the textures) but after I finished it, I realized the girl looked older than I had originally envisioned and I feel I made her forearm too long.
Working on these two images gave me a chance to experiment with some new custom pens that I created with Painter's Brush Creator. It's easy to become addicted to the Brush Creator, there are so many permutations that can be adjusted for an infinite variety of brushes, that once you've started designing new brushes, it's hard to stop. I like taking two different brushes and using the transposer to morph them into a new brush. Using the random brush generator is also fun. If you come up with something that you like, it's easy to save it by going to the Variant menu and clicking on 'Save Variant.' This opens up a dialog box where you can give your new brush a name. If you're not quite happy with the brush results from the transposer or random brush windows, you can go into the 'Stroke Designer' window and tweak the permutations manually. It's in this window where you can adjust size, spacing, number of bristles, type of stroke, color variability, angle, etc. If you haven't tried out the Brush Creator, I recommend giving it a try, it's lots of fun.
One of the custom brushes that I used in this image was a 'Fur' brush that I created by following the steps in this online tutorial, "Creating a Custom Brush to Paint Fur and Hair."
The tutorial says it was created using Painter IX, but it worked just fine in Painter XI, which is what I am using for my illustrations. Thanks to Don Seegmiller for the instructions on how to create this cool brush. It's not only a great brush for adding fur textures to animals, but it worked great for creating a very fuzzy sweater.
Directly below is the digital pencil sketch that I created for my second image. Below it, is the image after I've inked it using one of my custom pen brushes.