Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Step by step process to my illustrations & some great vids thrown in

I thought I would share the step by step process I take with one of my illustrations. I personally am fascinated watching other artists work and love looking at videos and pictures of their process. I remember taking my poor Mum to one of the art workshops run by the Bognor art club. The first session is spent watching the artists work for 3 hours and then the next session you get to have a go yourself in the workshop. Now I personally loved it but poor mother dearest…. well it’s literally watching paint dry, bless her! She never did come to another session with me he he

Anyways the point to my waffling is that I find it a fascinating process seeing a picture come to life so I thought I would show you the steps I take for my illustrations. These have changed quite a lot over the years but this process is something I seem to be sticking to now, the only change is I am incorporating more digital effects. I do however personally favour traditional art, call me old fashioned but there is something magical about a piece that has been hand painted. So as wonderful as modern technology is I don't want to go over board with it.


AnaBelle Stamps

My medium of choice these days are water based coloured pencils, the inktense range being my absolute fave. In fact it was this video that made me want to try them out. As soon as I saw this I ordered a box of pencils and the brushes and I haven’t looked back since. They are so lovely too blend and the colours really pack a punch. I have never tried pro markers but I would imagine they have a similar effect. I now use a mix of pastels, inktense and watercolour pencils and coloured pencils on Daler & Rowney's 220gsm heavy weight paper.

So the first step is to roughly sketch out my initial draft. I then use carbon graphite paper to redraw the image onto the heavy weight card. I could draw straight onto the card but I find that by redrawing an image I really get a feel for it which makes everything happen much more naturally.





Once I have the final pencil sketch ready to go it’s the fun bit of colouring in. I block in my base colours using unison pastels. I use to do this with all of the background but lately I have been experimenting with mixing this with digital backgrounds.

Then I colour in everything but the grass with my inktense pencils. Then, my fave bit, going over it all with a wet brush. The watercolour pencils never blended as well as these bad boys do. The inktense pencils really do blend very well and you don’t need to add much more to them after.



Then I get the coloured pencils to add all the finer details and extra shading. The grass is made up of layers of little strokes, usually made up of four to five different shades of green. I also go around the characters in black coloured pencil. I did use a pen originally but prefer the black pencil as it just seems a little softer. I want the characters to pop out more than the background so only go around them.

Then I do the final editing on the computer and voila job done.




I am completely self taught with my illustrations so I can’t comment if this is the right way of doing things but it works for me :)

Here are a few of my favourite artists videos that I have watched over the years. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.....

This one has been watched over and over, I just love it and is probably my most fave art video out there. Absolutely love his style. The artist is AlfieAlpha  Follow on facebook


Huge fan of this talented ladies work. Her work is very illustrative and decorative. I have seen a few of her pieces now and you really need to see them in person to appreciate the true beauty of them. I could stare at these pieces for hours, so much to look at. Artist Kerry Darlington 


And another of my faves Leonid Afremov. If you like colour you are going to love his work!! I don't think there is one piece of his I haven't liked.  


Last but not least, the talented artist Karl Andrews. His landscapes are stunning, take a look at his work at  www.kadesign.co.nz or 
Follow on facebookThis video is one I studied when I first attempted to paint my fallen angels on canvas. He makes it looks so effortless here! Great soundtrack too...


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