Working Methods

Recently a publisher asked me about how I create my illustrations, so here is a blog post to show the process.

First I plan out the characters and layout, making careful notes about colour mixing for consistency. When drawing the same character or setting many times you need a record of how you created it the first time.

Next I draw out the illustrations onto watercolour paper using a nib and waterproof ink.

Then I stretch the paper to stop it buckling when I paint on it. This involves totally wetting the paper with a dunk in a cold shallow bath and then taping it to my drawing board with special artists gummed tape. Once the paper is dry I start to paint on it. In this example I have done three illustrations at the same time. Painting with watercolour is all about building layers so it’s handy if you can switch between illustrations while waiting for layers to dry (requires multi tasking skills!)

The finished illustrations are then scanned into Photoshop and tided up. 


I'm working on a new portfolio piece of faces. Perhaps looking after my nephews inspired this one. Rowan ramping it up to 100! Though it can all be back to smiles and giggles in a moment. I have been reading some good on line tutorials about mixing flesh tones. What did we do before Google?