Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cloudwatching - by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

This piece began as one of my Daily Doodles, where I experimented with a very loose and very sketchy line (no initial sketch/shapes) in Photoshop CS5:

I initially envisioned the little girl and her monster to be on a rooftop, but decided to put her on a hillside looking up at clouds in the sky instead:

I added some subtle shading in the bottom part of the hill to add a feeling of depth. I also used more than one pale grey for the clouds...again to add some texture and depth.

Next, I colored in the girl and the monster. Then, to make the hill look more like a natural part of the illustration, I added grass and flowers:

I drew in the stalks of grass by hand (digitally, that is) but did some cheating -- I only did a few sections, then copied and pasted those sections around the hill, altering the rotation a bit so it wouldn't look so obvious I was cutting and pasting. Then I added in some extra blades of grass here and there by hand.

Here's a screenshot of my layers, for those curious:

Yes, I love layers!

Next up: the fantabulous FRED KOEHLER.

I'm starting to blog about the process of creating I'm Bored (written by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by yours truly) with Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, for those interested. Included: photos, quotes, sketches & process info from the very beginning, working with editor Justin Chanda and art director Laurent Linn, through to finals and launch. I'd be delighted if you joined me.


  1. Love the hair. Your work has a great deal of charm.

  2. Debbie, I always like reading your process posts. Thanks! Also, I gave Pixel Shavings the Liebster award. Check out my recent post for more info: