Joseph & Donkey, step by step

Here’s a look at how I do illustration work.

This is from ‘The Donkey Speaks’ by Dave Wilkins. It’s actually the only thing I’ve ever illustrated for someone else, and only the second thing I’ve really taken seriously, step by step, all the way through.

I take a little more time with the actual drawing in step 3, making sure to get steady, flowing lines as much as I can.

I’ve been trying hard to fight my tendencies toward perfectionism, so when my lines get a little sloppy or loose, I try to just leave them alone. Sometimes, like with this particular drawing, I’ll go back over, for example, Donkey’s legs, over and over and over until I just say to myself, ‘Enough! It’s good enough!’

Not out loud or anything.

There’s a lot to be said for good enough.

Steps 5 and 6, shadows and highlights, give the whole thing more depth and life.

The important thing is to figure out first where the lights in the scene would be coming from. I decided here that Joe and Don would be walking towards the sun, so shadows towards the right and bottom, and highlights toward the top and left.

Finally, I add some background color just for the thrill of it. I might go back and change the background here later on. I also might try to give Joe some more color, maybe something green but I need to find out more about how people dressed in ancient Israel.

And there you have it. Page 12, ‘Joseph and Donkey’.

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Joseph & Donkey, step by step

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