Illustration Process

I went to school for Business (Marketing) and Graphic Design. Though I have always had a passion for all things artistic, I was never an art major. I didn’t even really consider myself an illustrator until relatively recently, so I don’t approach my work in a traditional way (if there is such a thing). For that reason, I wanted to share my (evolving) process here.

Starting with an idea, I do some very rough sketches and thumbnails in pencil on whatever paper is within reaching distance. Some artists and illustrators have sketchbooks that are works of art in themselves. Mine do not look like that. They are rough, scratchy, and unrefined. But I take those crude drawings and start drawing digitally in Illustrator until I have something that I like.

Balloons Illustration, Black and White sketches

From here, I move to what is probably my favorite steps, adding color! Ochre. Umber. Cerulean. Chartreuse. Vermilion. Dealing with color is one of my very favorite things.

Ballons: Sketch with Color
Once I settle on a color palette that I like, I take my characters and shapes, and I begin to add depth and texture with Photoshop.

Tree Sketches

Which tree do you like better?

This illustration was almost complete, but there was something about it that didn’t feel right. This was more of a gut feeling than anything.

Balloons Illustration with Texture

So I played with the composition a bit more. Simplified things. Rearranged elements. Here is the final piece (which I posted here last week).

Balloon Illustration


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