Step-by-step: Illustrate a cloak that’s seen better days
1 I start with a quick piece of line art, then choose a colour scheme. The character’s costume will be quite dark with the bottom of the cloak floating in the air. My colours are desaturated, but I’ll add brighter light and patterns later. It’s important to find the general shape of the cloak. I want to show off the torn edges to enhance the aged look of the fabric.
2 I quickly paint the key fabric folds, following my line art and adding tears to the fabrics. I also want the cloak to look almost like silk so that it floats around my character. To achieve this effect I add more colour variations and tiny folds everywhere. I use a custom brush to paint and sketch because I need to have a lot of texture to make this element look convincing.
3 At this point the character needs to be brought to life. The cloak is too much desaturated so I boost the colour scheme with a more vibrant red. Then I refine the torn parts, using a textured brush to introduce more colour variations and realism to the fabric. I also add some holes here and there: this is a nice visual detail to accentuate the old, worn look of the cloak.
4 To give the fabric a decadent look, I add some golden and purple patterns. I use a textured brush with very soft edges because I don’t want the result to be too neat; the patterns are old and worn. To reinforce this idea, I add some golden loose threads with a very fine brush. The embroidery pattern gives a story to the garment and hints at my character’s tragic story.