Thursday 12 May 2016

Art process: illustration

'Djinni' 2016

We all have processes to the things we do regardless if we're artists, and we add to and hone those processes as our skills evolve. When I make an Illustration, what I call an artwork of black pen, marker & pencil on paper, I follow a certain process.

pencil sketch and inked drawing '3 Graces'

Firstly I sketch with pencil. It could be a clear idea in my head, or a hint of figurative formation. Sometimes I simply let my pencil do the walking. At this stage there's a lot of erasing until I'm happy with the initial result. I then use a fine liner ink pen (that won't dissolve under alcohol based markers) to draw carefully over the pencil lines and I erase the pencil sketch. It's not always perfect but the next stage in the process sorts out any imperfections. Sometimes if the piece is a quick study I start to colour at this point.

Scanned image on screen

Otherwise, I use the Paint app on my laptop (I find it as good as any for the purpose) to correct a scanned image of my inked drawing. It allows me to enlarge the drawing so that correcting flaws becomes much easier. Plus, if there are any tiny dots of pencil I've missed, I am able to erase those too.

Wacom Intuos pen tablet

A Wacom tablet and stylus is much more sensitive than the eraser tool on the Paint app. I do envy artists who have the Wacom Cintiq which allows them to 'draw on screen'. There's a certain amount of practice needed to use a simple tablet as your eyes watch the screen and not your moving hand on the tablet. I feel the Cintiq with its own touchscreen would be much more straightforward to use plus its design advantages might help take my artwork to another level.

 alcohol marker on left and coloured pencil work on right

Using an Epson printer (also my scanner) I print onto A4 Bristol Board. This type of heavy paper is perfect for alcohol markers (see Pens, pencil & paper). I find the Epsom printer ink is stable enough to withstand any colouring by alcohol markers. Colouring the image with a mixture of Copic & ProMarkers I use the cheaper Chafford markers to tint the larger background areas. On top I use Mars Chroma coloured pencils to add greater depth, finer detail and more variety of colour.

 'Sea Pearl' - alcohol marker on left and coloured pencil work added on right

At this stage due to working through severe fatigue I messed up the '3 Graces' artwork. It happens. When I'm unhappy with how something has turned out I don't keep it, I destroy it. However because I have the touched up line drawing saved on my laptop I can reprint it and re-colour it at any time. I started again with 'Sea Pearl' which I'd already touched up with my Wacom and was in my files ready to print. Again, I printed onto A4 Bristol Board and began to colour it with alcohol markers.

I then used pencil to give depth, shading and shadows and finally touched up the outlines of the bigger elements in the drawing with 0.2 unipin fine line in black ink. 

'Sea Pearl' 2016

That's my art process to date. It may be added to or refined as time goes or as I add newer technology to my artspace! (The wish list gets longer as the months go by). Hope you've enjoyed this blog and I will be doing more artwork breakdowns/processes over the coming weeks.


Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit
All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.