Inking project: Apple branch in apple forming stage

Inking project: Apple branch in apple forming stage - student project

I was visiting my parents at the house that I grew up in for a week during the time the old apple tree in the yard was beginning to form little apples. This tree is very old and has lichen and reindeer lichen all over it and shockingly still produces some apples even after years of total neglect. I was inspired to draw some of the apple branches during a sunny day with nothing else to do. I didn't know exactly what I would do with the drawings, maybe a pattern design. After I took this class, I decided to see what it would look like inked in Illustrator. I really enjoyed the process I learned from Melissa! I decided to separate out each element so I could give them different inking colors, so I drew them on different layers using Melissa's method of colorizing for each. I separated the branch, leaves, apples, lichen, and reindeer lichen. I am pretty happy with the result, however maybe the way I colorized the forming apples isn't very natural looking. I'm so used to shading and realism that vectored coloring was a challenge. Nevertheless, I learned so much and had a blast using my Wacom tablet and those pressurized brushes Melissa shows how to create. Thank you Melissa for sharing your process!Here is a (really bad) photo of part of the tree. You can't see any of the forming apples here, unfortunately. I drew from life and not using photos, but I decided to take a few photos for color reference later. I wish I would have taken better photos of actual branches I drew from.

Here is a photo of a branch that had fallen. I used it to shape some leaves on a drawing after it got too chilly to sit outside. 

Here is the drawing I decided to use for this project. I had 5 or 6 to choose from, but this one was speaking to me.

This is how I inked it up with my brush tool. You can see that I have overlapping parts because I drew the components on their own layers so I could have different ink colors for the different parts of the branch.

Here is my final colorized version. Not bad for my first attempt, but I'm not sure my shadows and highlights are exactly right, and I certainly don't have Melissa's talent for line work to define shadows and 3-dimensional shape. 

What a great class! Thank you Melissa De Nobrega!!!