Due Dates

Illustration Process
Color Pencil Skills
Ink Skills

Project Ideas
Travel Poster
Greeting Cards

Illustration Concepts

The Illustration Process


Define Your Illustration's Objective

What is your goal or end objective? Does your illustration meets them.?

Find Good Reference

Make sure you find real-life, or photography reference for every element you are going to draw/paint in your final illustration. Be sure to review the guidelines for good reference on the Syllabus web page.

When I drew the strawberries for Jane's Jelly I simply conducted an advanced Google image search for strawberries.

Here are my search results


Sketching Ideas

This step is not mandatory for this class, but it is invaluable when developing characters, settings, and elements for your illustration.

Here, I began sketching what I wanted my strawberry to look like. I used the many images for reference only. I did not trace, copy, or use the images as they were.

I created my own image in my own style to use in my project.


Next I created a pen & ink drawing


Then I watercolored it


I needed five more fruits so I repeated the process. First I searched for a bunch of pictures of each fruit. Then I sketched them with a pencil, inked them, and fianlly watercolored them.



Here's how the final jelly jar label looked

When Drawing and Painting

Remember… take one shape at a time, slowly. Don't allow yourself to feel overwhelmed. I usually draw a little light until I get about one-quarter done. Just to see how things go. If it looks right, I go back and darken the first one-quarter and move on from there.

More process examples

Starting out… break your illustration down into small shapes
When you are working on an illustration, train yourself to break the subject down into small shapes. Then look at each shape individually. Find the highlights, mid-tones and shadows in each small shape. Then start drawing/coloring each shape, one after another. Only look at the blending and coloring for each small shape. Take the time to color and blend each shape accurately. Before you know it, you're creating an illustration!

Look at the small shapes in each of these subjects



Green lines show the 17 small shapes that need to be drawn and colored to complete this illustration of this bear caricature.

The steps below show a bear character drawn using three different techniques: watercolor, color pencil and a combination of both. These are just three of the many different ways you can paint with watercolor and draw with color pencil.

Explore your own mixed media techniques and styles for an original look.


wally steps



Even though a face is smooth and curved, shapes are formed when light shines on it. The shadows, midtones and highlights create many small shapes.Use the artograph to break down your subject matter into shapes. Transfer the shapes to your illustration board using a hard pencil (2-4H). Don't press too hard or you'll indent your paper. (These lines are darkened to show them on the Web)