I was looking through some old files a few days ago and found a rough concept sketch back from the Xavier character designs which I done last year. I always remember quite liking the design and it just seemed to look more like one of those wind up toys.
So I decided to go over it with a sharpie, scanned in and had a mess around on illustrator with it. Usually i'm not a fan of the live trace on there, it never really gives the results I want and takes a certain quality away. It can go very flat looking and a bit messy at times but I decided to go with it and then once the live trace was done, I tweaked it by expanding and changing the brush type and width etc. This gives more control but still I dont think I'd use it for everything. The pen tool 'can' be tedious at times but can give better results.
Back to the point- this is the result of trying out a different kind of art brush I had and its not what I intended at all but I thought it looked so different and just really worked.
Once this was done, it was time to colour up in photoshop. After the results of the trace, I got it in my head that something with a half tone effect would look cool with this style and something that wasnt too strong and overpowering in colour.
So I had more of an 'inking' style brush to give a softer, more subtle effect with different opacity levels and then used a half tone background.
I'm actually really pleased with the way this turned out. I never expected it at all but its totally different and in the words of good old Scissor Sisters 'sometimes the best design is done by damage'- very true!
Close up ....