5 ways to take your sketchbook ideas and turn them into finished pieces

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Last week we were spending a creative sunday discovering ways you can have fun filling the pages of your sketchbook.  No doubt by now those exact same pages are filled with the seeds of a great creative project , now all you have to do is take those initial sketchbook ideas and turn them into something creatively amazing and here’s ways following last week’s post you can do that.

1.  From a continuous fine liner doodle look at what you’ve created. Is there are character or motif on your page that you can trace on layout paper turning it into a developed illustration piece. Could you grow that initial idea; add extra aspects to it that weren’t there before and develop it into something new that might be a great addition to your portfolio.

2.  What was once a spontaneous splash on your page might now be an amazing initial illustration idea all dried up and ready for developing. You might have a series of quirky inky characters, imaginative creatures and more that you can now scan and turn into anything from a surface pattern to a series of illustrative prints.

3. Were you brave enough to rip a hole in your sketchbook page? If you were and grew a little illustration into a bigger one, growing a concept for a story or filling it with typography script, you could now scan and digitally colour your pieces turning them into a book or series of prints for an online shop.

4. If you dabbled in paper collage and created a sketched paper piece, you could take elements from your experimentation that worked and move them further in your project. So for example if a black fine line doodle contrasted better on graph paper collage, then use those elements that work along with your drawing theme of choice to develop further turning initial sketchbook ideas into a series of framed pieces maybe?

5. The last sketchbook filling idea was to find one thing where you were and sketch it in different ways, materials and perspectives on your pages to create a number of motifs. Once you’ve done this you could retrace your sketches onto tracing paper to tidy up the best designs you want to use. Then begin incorporating colour and combine shapes to make new pattern prints that could be for many different things from phone cases to notebook covers, fabric and more.

Image by artist Sarah Ahearn you can find out more about her work here.

Posted by Kate Leonard on 11/09/14 under artists,creativity,technique
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David Roberts: master of endearing offbeat oddballs

Post by Heather Ryerson

David Roberts

David Roberts

David Roberts

David Roberts

David Roberts

David Roberts

David Roberts creates eccentric yet endearing characters with his lively illustrations. With more than twenty illustrated books for children published, Roberts—and his charming drawings—keep garnering more and more attention. His latest picture books Iggy Peck, Architect, Rosie Revere, Engineer, and Happy Birthday, Madame Chapeau have made many ‘best of’ lists, including the New York Times bestseller list. He lives and plays in London.

Posted by Heather Ryerson on 11/08/14 under children's art,editorial submissions
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: John Totleben

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The Saga of the Swamp Thing #53 page 24 [art by John Totleben]The Saga of the Swamp Thing #34 cover [art by Stephen Bissette and John Totleben]

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John Totleben happens to be one of the finest illustrators to ever work in comics. His first published work was in the popular science fiction/fantasy magazine Heavy Metal in the late 70’s. He first became well known for his collaboration with artist Stephen R. Bissette, and writer Alan Moore on their ground breaking run on Swamp Thing for DC Comics in the early/mid 80’s. Their run also included the introduction of popular character John Constantine AKA Hellblazer. Totleben continued to impress with his distinct, ultra-detailed inks, and lush painted covers with his work on Eclipse Comics’ Miracleman. After many years in legal limbo, Marvel Comics secured the rights to re-publish issues of Miracleman, which is once again shining a light on Totleben’s timeless art.

Sadly, John Totleben has suffered from the eye disease retinitis pigmentosa for years now, so he’s had to slow down his output as an artist. Yet, he’s still capable of rendering some of the most beautiful scenes you can imagine albeit at a much slower rate.

John Totleben has won numerous Kirby & Inkpot awards throughout his career, and was the co-founder/editor of the famed Taboo horror anthology.

You can learn more about John Totleben’s life & career here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 11/07/14 under artists,comic,illustrationfriday,pen/brush and ink,weekly topics
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Pick of the Week for SMOOTH and This Week’s Topic

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Happy Friday!

We’re excited to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the illustration above by Patrick Girouard our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of ‘SMOOTH’. Thanks to everyone else for participating. We hope it was inspiring!

You can also see a gallery of all the other entries here.

And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:

PAPER

Here’s how:

Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).

Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.

Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).

Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the participant gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!

HAPPY ILLUSTRATING!

Posted by Thomas James on 11/07/14 under weekly topics
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5 creative ways to fill your sketchbook

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If you’re ready to start a new project or just feel like taking a lazy sunday to doodle but aren’t quite sure how to best start filling those blank sketchbook pages with amazing things, here’s 5 ways to fill your sketchbook and have fun doing it.

  1. Take a fine liner and draw in one continuous line filling all spaces on your page without actually taking the pen off the surface until you’re finished.
  2. Using ink make a spontaneous splash, drip, or dribble on your page then leave it to dry and afterwards using a material of choice (pen or pencil etc.) create something from that drip whether an animal, flower , imaginative creature and more.
  3. Rip a hole in a middle section of your page and begin drawing an illustration or doodle in the middle of the hole. The idea is to grow the little illustration into something bigger out of that hole, could be anything in any shape or form you wish from typography, pattern to an imaginative story like concept .
  4. Take a piece of paper collage ( this could be a newspaper clipping, diary piece, parcel paper, map or magazine clipping) and stick it to the sketchbook page, then create an illustration on its surface. If you’re a lover of fashion illustration you could for example cut out models and create your own imaginative designs the potentials endless because so is your imagination.
  5. Find one thing where you are now (whether you’re outside, at home ,bedroom or office) and sketch what you’ve chose in different ways, materials and perspectives on your sketchbook page creating a page  full of motifs and pattern.

Once you’re done you can then develop these initial sketchbook ideas into something bigger like a series of book illustrations, patterns, fashion pieces, paintings and more. So grab those materials, open up those sketchbooks and get started  having fun working on those big ideas.

Image by artist Aurelie you can find out more about her work here.

Posted by Kate Leonard on 11/02/14 under artists
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Owen Gatley

Owen Gatley

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Owen Gatley is originally from Worcestershire, but now lives and works in Berlin as a freelance illustrator. In creating his illustrations he brings about different media such as pencil, ink drawings and paint textures then begins to build them up in photoshop creating a final design. He is inspired by the 1950s, old fashioned boys toys and model villages.  His clients include; Urban Outfitters, Google and Wired to name a few.  I think the style that Owen Gatley works in is very fun and exciting. I love how they have a vintage feel to them, working with a certain colour palette and adding interesting textures.

To find out more about this great Illustrator visit his website

Posted by Jessica Holden 

Posted by Jessica Holden on 11/02/14 under artists
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Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Basil Wolverton

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The enigmatic comics legend Basil Wolverton(1909-1978) is celebrated this week with the release of IDW’s Artist’s Edition Basil Wolverton’s Weird Worlds. IDW’s series of art books collects the best examples of original comics art that still exists, and reproduces that art at it’s original size(15″ by 22″ for this edition), preserving the little imperfections, and notes that might have been left on the original page. These newly printed artifacts are a perfect way to enjoy work by one of your favorite artists, and it serves as a perfect introduction to new fans.

Wolverton reached the pinnacle of his fame when he won Al Capp‘s legendary ugliest woman contest, drawing Lena the Hyena, which was featured on the cover of Life Magazine. His work was prominently featured in the early issues of Mad Magazine, and his Spacehawk & Powerhouse Pepper strips were published in various Timely comics during the 1930’s & 40’s. In the 1940’s, Basil Wolverton became a minister for Herbert W. Armstrong’s Radio Church of God, which took a literal interpretation of the apocalyptic parts of  the Bible. Some of this point of view is reflected in Wolverton’s work, and that dark side certainly trickled into many of his commercial pieces, as well.

You can read more about the history of artist Basil Wolverton, and his interest in the end times here, which includes words from his son, Monte.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates

Posted by Andy Yates on 10/31/14 under artists,illustrationfriday,pen/brush and ink,weekly topics
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Illustrator Lize Meddings

Back in 2009 when I first decided that illustration was definitely the route for me, I was finally beginning to stumble on a lot of other illustrators that really governed my taste and aesthetic going forward. Interestingly, a lot of them happened to reside across the pond in Great Britain. Julia Pott, Lizzy Stewart and Gemma Correll are a few that come directly to mind when thinking of the geography, and are some of my favorite working artists to this date. Lize Meddings also happens to hail from the UK. I stumbled upon her work via Tumblr of all places, and am quite happy I did!

Lize Meddings is a Bristol-based fine artist and illustrator with a penchant for the color pink, animals, nature and all kinds of positive self-expression. She works in both analog and digital formats, showcasing wonderful brushwork and gestural figures. Since finishing up the Illustration program at Plymouth College of Art & Design, she’s become a self-publishing fiend–constantly working on the next comic, zine, print, bag or fine art commission. The idea of a creative block seems far and away from this one’s mind.

Lize is quite interested in the act of characterization, if that wasn’t obvious before. Her medium of comfort is a brush and some ink, but she also demonstrates a natural comfort around the use of color. I particularly love the way she draws eyes–very fairylike for some reason.

Something I’ve noticed about several British illustrators is the tendency towards a more “naive” aesthetic. While that might sound negative, it’s completely the opposite. There’s a unique youthfulness in Lize’s work that allows it to appeal to a wider, younger audience, all while the messages remain witty and cheeky. It takes a special person to turn reality into something appealing, and she does just that by focusing on the relatable, more beautiful aspects of life.

Follow along with Lize’s illustrative adventures:

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Sad Ghost Club

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Posted by Rachel Frankel on 10/31/14 under artists,comic,design,digital,painterly,pen/brush and ink
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Editorial Submission :: Marisa Morea

Post by Natalie

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Marisa Morea is a freelance illustrator located in Madrid, Spain. She has been freelancing since 2009 after graduating with a MA in Illustration from Eina School in Barcelona.

She loves saturating her work with a good mood, storytelling, playful banters, vibrant colors and a little bit of tenderness. Fun character design and use of textures also adds interest to her images. Her work has been featured internationally in various magazines and ads.

See more of Marisa’s work on her website.

Posted by Natalie on 10/28/14 under artists,editorial submissions
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To the creative overthinker …

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Dear Creative overthinker,

No doubt there have been times where you were sat at your desk deep in thought or maybe you were previously to reading this. With your pen , paintbrush, camera or graphics tablet in hand your mind gets caught up in a whirlwind of creative over thought causing you to over think your entire creative practice. As you do this the creative work that you do that was “fun work” begins to feel more like ” hard work” thus bringing the creativity inside you to a halt. Thoughts such as:

” What if I post my design and no one likes it ?”

” What if I post this set of cards, notebooks and prints and no one buys them?”

“What if I go to that design interview and I get turned down?”

“What if I email this client the price quote for a commission and they think I’m really overpriced?”

In a nut shell thoughts like this cause “you” to stop and your creativity will stop with it, all the “what if’s” in our head’s are sometimes enough to stop us doing what we love to do. So my dear creative over thinker try to stop thinking so much , live in the creative moment, make smart prompt decisions that may scare the pants off you and be brave.

Image by artist Tim Bontan you can find more of his work here .

Posted by Kate Leonard on 10/26/14 under business,creativity,freelance
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