I spent last week getting things organized - downloading tarballs, collating the icon sets, making metaphor lists, and flagging for accessibility issues.
Yesterday I was able to start drawing. I am basing most of the High Contrast images on 16x16 icons from Gnome Icon Themes 3.0. These drawings are pretty fantastic - I'm learning a lot by looking at the way the designs from the 48x48 icons are simplified and adjusted. I still need to make adjustments (other than making them black and white) to simplify the 16x16 images, but often very few changes are necessary.
It's kind of odd to be drawing in all black and white...I think the last time I did it was in Design 1 back in college. After a few hours, I start thinking in black and white. So I find myself getting confused when I toggle between windows and go from this:
Wait, which one is the icon...?....