After a couple of weeks of playing around with Illustrator, the "need" for a graphics tablet arose. I put need in quotes because I didn't NEED any such thing. Instead, after seeing how to use the tablet I had high hopes of being able to emulate my sketching style digitally.
Chinatown was the inspiration for these patterns. The sketches were done in pencil, which I prefer to sketch in as opposed to black ink. Since the tablet would allow me to trace them by hand instead of using Live Trace they didn't have to be so dark.
The vector graphics were created by the tracing. From there they could be filled, moved around, etc. At first, the vectors were filled with color and made into repeating patterns.
But I actually really liked the lanterns outlined in white. After playing around with some color choices, these are my favorite so far.
I'm still very limited on my understanding of the software and still wish to make the images softer and painterly. I miss my watercolor washes and drops of color too. That will be the next skill I want to learn.