After drawing up my three female ostrich, the next stage was to scan them into the computer individually.
The drawings were scanned in and opened in Photoshop for the next phase of cutting out the background, so that it is transparent. I do this so that if I over lap the images I don't get the white background of the top image blocking the one underneath' and I can see clearly the shapes of each subject, in this case the birds.
To cut out the background I add a new layer to each image and using the eraser tool, (the magic wand could also be used), remove all the background. On screen, a grey chequered pattern is revealed, this won't show up when I use this image later.. it just shows that the background has gone.
Once I have 'cut out' each bird I save them as a psd (photoshop) file, rather than a tiff or jpg. I then create a document in Adobe Illustrator, a design software application, to the size I need. Then I 'place' each bird image file onto this document.
When I did the original drawings I didn't worry about getting them the same size, as I can now resize each bird image by dragging the corners in or out to make them larger or smaller, until they are comparable heights.
Once I was happy with the sizes I then played with their positioning. My original idea was to have them in a row, evenly spaced, but I was thinking that looked a little boring, so after trying a few different layouts I ended up preferring a space and overlap in the composition. I then tried the birds in different positions in the layout to see which order I liked best. This was my final version.
I printed a 'hard copy' to the size I wanted for my final drawing and then using a 4B pencil I drew round the outlines of the birds on the back of the paper. Positioning the hard copy onto my final paper (white cartridge) for the ink drawing, I traced the main outlines gently through, being careful not to press hard so I didn't get an indent.
Then using a drawing pen with black ink I used my reference photo's to draw the ostriches being guided on size and position by my traced pencil lines. However my first attempt didn't look right, my drawing stroke technique was too varied. So I traced the outlines again onto another piece of good paper and started again. This time things worked better. The final step in this ink line drawing was to gently rub out the pencil marks once the ink was thoroughly dry.
The ostriches will 'sit' in an mount aperture size of 9" x 13". This photo isn't great, but hopefully you'll get the idea.