Let me start by saying that I find it helpful to draw my protagonists. Occasionally I will depict other characters as well. They are in the same style as my self caricature. Later I discovered how valuable PhotoShop could be to enhance the cartoon personalities. Not only for coloring but for such augmentation as the denim texture and shading. As my graphic manipulation skills improved, I realized even more could be done.
I now piece together realistic “photo” versions of my characters. I use various bits from different pictures (one person’s eyes, another’s nose, etc.) and tweak them further on the virtual art board into the characters in my mind’s eye. One boy in particular is created from seven others. It’s easy to dress them, too, since I can simply change the color of the perfect flannel pattern, for example.
Just another way to bring my characters to life – a modern day Frankenstein in two dimensions.