Illustrative Process

My illustrative process has slowly been evolving, like any artists’, over time. I have always loved sketching and drawing with pencil, be that on an actual sketchpad, or bored in class, meetings, etc. When I first started college I thought I wanted to go in to graphic design or some type of artsy major. I’m really glad I didn’t, the few classes I took really turned me off to continuing art as a major,. Nothing against those that do, but it was not for me. My art is my own and in high school I dealt with enough people hijacking what they thought my art should be, so I took a different route and found myself traveling down the path to becoming an elementary school teacher (Where I took a class that lead me to realizing I wanted to write and illustrate children’s books, referenced in the “In the Beginning” post”. In any case, over the last few years I have been slowly, EVER so slowly, been developing an artistic style that I enjoy and can call my own (I have pulled from other illustrators that I have seen, who will be featured in upcoming inspiration posts). Recently I have really been on a hot streak, starting illustrating a story that I have had written for about a year or so. I have attempted many times to start my illustrations, but I never liked the end result, and it was at this point I found myself treading water with my books. A few weeks ago I really diagnosed my problem and the reason as to why I have not gone any further in the process of becoming an author. The reason is, quite plainly I hated my illustrations, but I so badly want to illustrate my own writings. In my head the illustrations are flawless and stunning paintings, rivaling anything on the market now, or at least a close competitor. Every time I tried I wanted to tear my hair out in frustration, or throw my computer out a window. How could an idea I have in my head not come out anywhere near what I wanted. Well, my main issue was I was rushing the illustrative process, doing rush job not even my mom would appreciate, though she would probably try. You see I have invested in a Wacom digital drawing tablet in order to illustrate on my computer and do all sorts of creative paintings. Whenever I felt the urge to draw or try and illustrate a page from my book I would start and try and get a whole illustrated painting done ASAP (this is a terrible idea). In doing this I would not sketch on a real sheet of paper, I would just kind of dive in and see where the painting ended up. Never worked, I was so frustrated every time and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t translate the painting from my brain to the computer. So, a few weeks ago I decided to get out a real pad and paper, and carve out a serious chunk of my time to work. I worked for several hours, sketching, erasing, more sketching, outlining in pen, erasing, laying down base color, blending and adding shadows. Over several days I worked on one illustration (hadn’t ever real done this) and by the end I was over-the-moon happy with my illustration. My plan now is to start each illustration as a pencil sketch, outline with black ink, then move to the digital realm to finish off the illustration. The end product will be about half real paper and half digital work. This is a compromise that I have found works best for me and gives me the creative power and ability to tailor my illustrations to perfectly fit the idea in my head. Look forward to seeing my works in progress soon.



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