Yesterday I completed a new illustration that I'm very happy with.
I began with this photo. Even though the photo is poor quality, I loved this stand of trees, particularly the architectural feel of bare/dead trees in winter.
I cropped, de-saturated, and heightened contrast
I used my old light table (circa 1970? it was my mother and aunt's when they were kids, it even had a whole bunch of Barbie scenes and outfits to mix and match) to trace from the photo, rearranging and simplifying the composition.
The final illustration is pen on vellum.
Right now I love it, and I'm thinking of making a limited edition of 100 to sell in my etsy. I haven't decided how to reproduce it yet though, I like the idea of tracing the original drawing, that way each edition would have the tactile feel of an original, not to mention slight variations and "unintentional imperfections" that add to a handmade piece. I tried tracing a few with a fine art marker, and while it did go much more quickly than the original, it lacked crispness.