I haven't done an actual tutorial for awhile, so I thought this would be a good example to go through the steps. I did this illustration for the January issue of Creating Keepsakes. Here's the direction I got from the designer (this was back in September):
woman (young, hip, feminine) at scrapbook table or desk-SB page in front of her, a few SB supplies on the table.
Nine jounaling starters (it explains more about that in the text) are floating above her: 3 would be one colour, 3 another colour, 3 another colour.
She could have one already on the scrapbook page she's working on. The journaling starters could just be fun handwriting in different colours, and they could alternate colours. For example, blue, red, green, blue, red, green, blue, red, green (with a space for the one she's already pulled down and working with). These are just sample colours. The back ground could be a typical scrappers room (I can give you ideas on that) A palette suitable for january would be great.
So we start with the sketch (done in photoshop):
The feedback was positive. They suggested widening the ribbons, since there would be text on them, and they worried it might be a little busy, but approved the sketch.
Next I built all the shapes in Flash. I made the shapes with the line or pencil tool, and filled in solid colors and deleted the outlines. Here's a wip. You can see that some of the outlines are still left on the ribbons.
I grouped them into the different levels of the illustration and exported the groups as .pngs. Below you'll see the 5 different layers:
Once I have everything lined up again in Photoshop, I used the Drop Shadow feature in the Layer Blending Options to help separate out each layer a bit. I did a little touchup coloring - like a little blush on the girl, and then over the top of the whole thing I added a texture layer. This is my favorite texture - it's a piece of velvety paper I scanned. I changed it to this tangerine color and set it to soft light.
So here's what I ended up with:
I got a few changes back from the editor and designer. Mostly they wanted everything less busy and the colors a little softer. Since it was all done in Flash, super easy to make the adjustments. Then I went through the export, photoshop steps again, and here's the final piece: