Step 9
Now you have a basic coloured image, you can begin to add details. To add depth draw a shadow inside the character’s body overlapping the edge of the shadow onto the character’s black outline, choose Darken in the transparency options and change the opacity to 30%.

Step 10
Add shadows underneath your characters to create depth. Given that the floor your characters are standing on is a solid colour, you can use a simple gradient to fade the shadow. To draw a shadow use the Gradient tool (G) and play around with the shading. Alter the angle of the gradient until you’re happy with how it looks.

Step 11
Once you’ve created shadows, you’re ready to add background items and detail to your work. In the Tools menu, hover over the Rectangle tool to select the Star tool. Click once in an empty area of the screen and change the option to 40 points or more if required. Resize the star and place as the bottom layer in the Layers palette.

Step 12
Once you’ve added all the items to your work, you’re ready to start refining it. You can experiment by dropping in extra clouds at the base of the illustration and amending the colours to create a more vibrant piece.

Step 13
To finalise the work, add a simple background. Choose a colour that complements the piece, use opacity where necessary and perhaps go for a subtle pattern that will flatter the bold outlines you’ve used in the main illustration.

Open the completed Illustrator file in Photoshop, select the colour mode as CMYK, choose the scale you want for your document and make some final colour corrections. That’s it – you’ve got a finished piece.

Who: Onesidezero is the work of British illustrator Brett Wilkinson, who creates glorious worlds of flowing forms and vivid colours presented as ultra clean graphic imagery. Brett’s work can be seen in leading illustration publications and on the walls of design exhibitions across the world. In addition to his work at OSZ, Brett still finds time to run the annual design event, Inkthis, which he co-founded.
Software: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator
Time to complete: 5 hours