I start some of my more complex illustrations with a pencil—the old school way. I also still work on a drawing table with push-pins stuck in precise spots in the corners of my drawing table to establish vanishing points. Once I establish that, I get the drawing going with the proper perspective. Many times I pick and chose what details I draw initially in pencil and which ones I put in directly on the computer. After creating the pencil rough, I place in Illustrator as a guide. From there it is basically drawing what I have sketched but now using much more detail with precise line weights, color and texture.

Sometimes on selected projects, I'll just put the product in front of me and draw it directly in Illustrator. Other times, I’ll export to Photoshop to add effects or additional texturing and blending.

There are a few medical illustrations that are created in Photoshop from start to finish.
The above two illustrations were created to match a computer generated style used on other illustrations in this product group. When the client had a knock-down, drag-out with the CGI vendor on the west coast, they came to me and asked me if I could match that style. With some hoop-jumping between Illustrator and Photoshop, I was able to closely match the desired style.
Click the illustration to see more tube cleaners.
This series of illustrations was to very clearly show in vector form how the many tube cleaning "bullets" used for different cleaning scenarios look as they pass through the heat exchanger tubes.
Medical device illustration for a podiatry product brochure.

Click image to see more industrial illustrations.
This series of illustrations was for a large company that made industrial heating elements for many industry-specific applications. The simplistic style was by design to be able to show complex processes very simply.
This illustration was started on the drawing table, then transferred to Adobe Illustrator. A group of workers using ground-penetrating radar to evaluate a landfill.
A contracted illustration that started on the drawing table with a pencil (from a blank sheet of paper). Once the pencil rough was approved, I brought it into Adobe Illustrator to draw and colorize.
Another contracted illustration of a truck that was not built or delivered yet. They needed a version to show that was close to what was ordered.
Illustration of a truck used for a capabilities catalog. This was started from a blank sheet of paper with pencil, then finished on the computer.
Another illustration created from scratch for a capabilities brochure and catalog.
A see-through illustration for a medical company specializing in podiatry solutions. I could not find a good foot model, so I did it myself. I shaved my leg to the knee and hopped in front of the camera. This was created in Photoshop using my foot, several product photos at the appropriate angles, a leg cage and a saw bone (plastic foot skeleton).
Ken Logsdon, designer, creative director