Logically, the next step in the production of the illustration is the painting.
Real paints on real paper. Although this is undoubtedly my favorite medium, it is no longer the only choice. Digital variations can be interesting, and at times they can lifesavers. That is if one values the hours spent in making changes and repainting the same scenes.
When I started painting the first spread I decided to try out using a hybrid technique using both real and digital painting. I painted it first with acrylics on watercolor paper, then scanned it and processed the image with Photoshop. It was evident, as soon as I began adding in new layers with texture and shadows that it would work out just as I had hoped. I have to say I'm completely delighted with how it all printed up. The additional digital details are fab... but really only apparent in the finished book.
This film shows the original finished painting and related color studies done in Photoshop. Picking the color tones and the values ahead of time can save having to do things over. So a quick study brushed in with Photoshop can be time well spent.
I did up a little step by step on some of my many digital techniques on the Cromwell Dixon's Sky-Cycle book web site. Just click the tab 'Making the Book' if you're interested in knowing more.