We were a little surprised to hear that Kali Ciesemier’s work is completely drawn digitally using a graphics tablet, that’s why it’s always so interesting to talk to artists about how they work.
Kali’s illustrations have a nice hand-drawn look to them, the kind where you can almost feel the ink moving against the paper in the edges of the shapes and the style of the brush marks. However, that, as we now know, is not the case, with her process predominantly taking place in Photoshop.
The way in which her illustrations are made aside, we like the use of and play with colour. As you’ll read below, she says that the experimentation with different palettes in her work in one of her favourite stages, which results in some fun combinations.
Where colour is absent is also worth taking a look, Kali is a pretty adept user of negative space. We particularly like the way in which the figure is created with white space in the image below, and how the background of the text bleeds into the illustrations and body of the characters in the following zodiac illustrations. We asked her to tell us more about how she works.
I’m a freelance illustrator based in Baltimore, where I also teach part time at the Maryland Institute College of Art. All my work is drawn exclusively in Photoshop with a Wacom tablet, from sketches to finals, though sometimes thumbnailing on paper is easier for me.
I’ve also found that it’s easier for me to build up my images using shapes to define form, instead of linework. As a control freak, I take full advantage of Photoshop’s capabilities for endless tweaking. It’s not uncommon for me to spend an hour dragging color sliders around and shifting hues until they’re just right, but working with color is my favorite part of the drawing process!
© Kali Ciesemier, 2012