Illustration Exploration IV

My most recent binge of The Young Pope conveniently collided with a Skillshare lesson: "Illustration in Photoshop: Professional Work From Your Sketches" by Anne Bollman. If you've seen The Young Pope, you probably remember the regally gaudy scene where Jude Law addresses the cardinals. Of course I had to incorporate that into my illustration exploration series, because design is a passion and a prison (just kidding).

process images:

color variation, final illustration

Next up in character illustration: faces. Can't live without 'em. This is a particular challenge to me because I'm trained in graphite realism, so simplified lines and features go against all my deepest beliefs. 

I also have a few bullet points from previous Illustration Exploration posts that I want to continue working on. Here's the list:

  • Put a face on it! (Portlandia Season 1)
  • Continue working with a more realistic body form
  • Use outlines, but give them color and try overlapping fill color/texture and outlines
  • Make & use more custom textures
  • Work with a limited color palette


Illustration Exploration III

My main goal after Illustration Exploration II was to create custom-made textures and apply them to an illustration. I also decided to explore a more realistic body shape while eliminating defining features.

Whenever I'm working through a new technique or style, I look to other designers not only for inspiration, but to learn more about their creative process. This time around, I took inspiration from the work of Kaye Blegvad, and process information from a Skillshare class by Matt Kaufenberg (s/o to my fellow Minnesotan).

I love the authenticity and casual quality of Kaye's line and texture. She also draws more lifelike body shapes, which I've been drawn to lately (hey, a pun). Matt works with this really cool combo of texture and shadow that makes his colors almost look like layered paper cut-outs. You can see where I explored that same style here, especially on the head.

Here are my upcoming illustrative goals:

  • Continue working with a more realistic body form
  • Experiment with outlines
  • Experiment with different fill textures
  • Work with a limited color palette

Illustration Exploration II

A couple weeks ago I came across some work by Duncan Beedie. He exaggerates and simplifies his figures, and, although they are obviously digital, his figures have a loose organic quality I'm drawn to. The style is contrary to my exacting graphite drawings from a previous life, so I decided to try it out.

"Echo Chamber" illustrates the consuming of information that validates existing opinion(s).

Contrary to his style, I used a pre-loaded Illustrator texture and gradients to save time (time is money!). Next steps: create and apply custom textures.

I enjoyed illustrating in this style and expect to do more of it in the future.