How my illustrations are created

If only it was always quick and seamless as that video...

Sometimes I have a picture in my head, but I just can’t get it to translate onto paper in a way I'm happy with.  Other times, the above happens and it comes together like a dream! Want to see the process? Read on...

First, I sketch...

First, I sketch up some ideas of how the composition could look and trial a few ideas. I hardly ever use watercolour or add any colour at this stage; it's all rough ideas being thrown at the page to see what sticks. 

Sometimes I can immediately see the potential in early in these sketches (fingers are always crossed that this is the case) but generally, I end up with a page or two of thumbnails before selecting a concept to work on.

If I'm working with a client, this is the stage I get sign-off from them on the concept.

Decide on a palette 

For the polar and panda bear above, I didn't feel I needed to run through colour palette options (I knew exactly what I was heading for), but for some more complex pieces, I'll work ideas out in my sketchbook.

Mark out the final piece

From there, it's time to sketch it out on the 'good' paper.

And now we paint

This step can be a bit back a forward; I find that my paintings are hardly ever finished in one sitting. Walking away from an unfinished painting is one of my favorite tricks. I find that distance can work wonders, and means I can approach the piece with a fresh perspective and renewed energy. Because of this, I try and work on several pieces as once and rotate through them as I work. 

 

Final pieces!