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IF: Suit (Birthday Suit)

Birthday Suit (Illustration Friday: Suit)

The Illustration Friday challenge “suit” really didn’t grab me until I remember it was my birthday this month…

Birthday Suit original sketch

(above) I scribbled the idea for this on a handy notepad with pencil at midnight while I was waiting for my neighbor’s party to end so I could get some sleep. Then I inked over the outline today and followed the steps below to get to the finished picture. The color in the picture above comes printed on the notepad.

Techie notes:

I outlined the sketch in ink and scanned into Photoshop, using Levels to erase the background (paper had designs on it) and improve the contrast. Then I opened it in Illustrator and used “Trace” command to get clean outlines. I imported that into Painter, doing some more drawing and then creating layers defined as “Multiply” to paint it without losing the outlines. I mostly used the digital airbrush. Then I opened it in Photoshop to use the handy “Save for Web” option (Phew!) It took about 2 hours total.

This is my first project on my new electric sit-stand desk/computer workstation. It was a massive project requiring lots of computer and furniture wrangling in my studio to get it all set up and functional and some really late hours. That’s why I haven’t posted the past few days. Tomorrow I’ll post some pics of my new desk and write about the project, my ridiculous goof-ups, the fixes and the complicated but very groovy computer setup that my friend Richard, tech consultant extraordinaire, helped me plan and assemble.

19 replies on “IF: Suit (Birthday Suit)”

Happy Birthday! Thanks for the rundown on his fine illo you did here. I just got Photoshop and as a non-professional illustrator, I’m somewhat lost.


That is very complex and I hope you shed some light uinto this problem: Do you have any incompatibility problems or special attention to file format when moving files form and to PS and Illustrator. You first modified teh file in Illustrator, what kind of file did you import into Illustrator. When you finshed in iIllustrator, in what format did you save it so it could be used well in PS?

My versions of these two only run in Mac OS 9 environment, so my problem may be that.

Thanks a lot for any advise,


Steve and Yari, Photoshop is a really complex program, and combining all three — PS, Illustrator and Painter just makes it even more so, but they each have things they do better than the other. To answer Yari’s question, Photoshop and Illustrator should be able to open each other’s file types without any problem.

I didn’t have any compatibility problems. I think I saved the original file as a Photoshop psd file, opened that directly in Illustrator, saved that as an .ai file and then a tiff file which I opened in Painter. I saved the Painter file as a tiff file and opened that in Photoshop where I finally saved it as a smaller jpg. I probably could have found a way to do the whole thing in Photoshop though but since I have the programs just took advantage of what they can do.


Happy Birthday, Jana. Looking forward to pictures of the sit-stand computer workstation– I have wanted one for a long time, myself.


Happy birthday, Jana. I also like to celebrate birthday months. 🙂
Thanks for the comment on my blog and for the step by step instructions on how you created this fun illo. I have PS and Illustrator, but still don’t feel very confortable using them. That’s why I really appreciate seeing sketches and “techie” notes. Thanks a lot!


Happy birthday and birthday suit to you! Watch out for those candles, though, girl. I’m so impressed with your new setup and the knowledge you have to go with it! I need some of both!


After a week on “Island Time” my poor old brain is struggling with so much detail, but I’ll come back to it later. Thanks for being so “readably instructive.” And, whatever the day, have a Happy One, Jana.


Computers and software – you gotta love em! I hope you get all the upgrades you asked for on your birthday.
Sometimes it is hard to pull off an idea if it doesn’t grab your interest immediatly; but you seemed to have fun with this one.


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