At work this week I was tasked to create a series of video-game type images of a snowboarder at a 45-degree overhead view in three positions: going straight, steering left, and steering right.
I started out with a pencil drawing in my moleskine sketchbook and threw it on the scanner. I placed the image in Adobe Illustrator and created vector "ink" line art by tracing over my sketch with the pen tool. I love the Stroke Width tool in Illustrator CS5! It lets you have total control over the line thickness at any position along the path.
I could have simply rotated the snowboarder left and right to get the other two poses, but that's bush league and I'm better than that. I made two copies of the line art and scaled, rotated and otherwise modified my paths to create the other two poses. The limb positions and perspective are more realistic this way.
I copied the line art and converted it all to Live Paint groups. Then it was just a matter of dropping in color fills with the Live Paint Bucket tool. After expanding the LP groups I was able to tweak the individual gradients on the helmet and goggles. The snowboards are all on a separate layer beneath everything; I just skewed it a couple times. Done!