The sketch for the sign was done in a sketching program, but stuff like text, I always do in Corel first, then export it out as an image file. I figure, I'll need the vectors for the text anyway, so the beginning is just as good as anything to get them laid out. Plus, I do the vectors to actual size, so I can get a handle on the final, overall project size in the sketching software!
Then in the sketching software, every element gets drawn on a separate layer, so I can turn everything on or off, as I need.
So I split off all the water splashes from the trunk of the splash, as they'll get cut as separate pieces.
I sense HDU dust in my very NEAR future!!