One of the things I like the most about illustration is that it allows me to express ideas in a diverse way. I have more freedom to explore ideas that normally would have been difficult to attempt with paint and canvas. Furthermore, with illustration I can use technology to copy and paste multiple sketches, change their size, and manipulate the scenery much easier than before.
The above illustration is an example where I have used technology to manipulate a previous sketch of myself into a 3 panel repeat illustration. I have copied and repasted the image into 3 panels. I added an abstract motif inspired by green cactus to make the image more decorative. I like the way it turned out, and it has a fun “summer” vibe to it.
This illustration has the same idea as the previous one, except the decorative bamboo leaves are in the background of the illustration. Using technology, I merged the repeated subject at the shoulders to create continuity along the bottom edge. Thinking back, I would have been more creative if I had the subject covering his ears and mouth in the repeated images to make a “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” reference. It is an amazing feeling to play around with different ideas and to see the end result. I am looking forward to working on more comic type illustrations that include words and meaningful quotes.
My latest illustration work is focused on portraits. I mainly sketch the bust of my subjects and work on smooth lines, shading, and perspective.
I always try to include a basic shading line for each portrait, even when it is rudimentary like the lines seen above. This style of basic shading is cartoonish, but gets the job done.
The difference is remarkable when shading is not included. Looking at the above portrait sketch (as well as the one below) there are absolutely no shading lines. As a result the subject looks flat and one dimensional. I think that it seems very cartoonish. The representation is good, but as one of my favorite online illustrators would say: shading allows more features of the face to appear that line work alone does not reveal.
The above sketch uses much deeper shading around all major areas of the subjects face that is eclipsed her her hair. There is still a cartoonish nature to the portrait, but it can be said that my style is improving here.
My preferred style of shading is achieved with the airbrush effect on Autodesk sketchbook. The soft airbrush tip works well, but I also use the hard brush to get deeper definition and more dramatic looks when shading. Above, shading and highlights are visible in the face of the subject. This airbrushed effect give the portrait more dimension and an appealing appearance. It is definitely my favorite sketch of the week.
My latest work in illustration has been the creation of simple geometric patterns against solic backgrounds of colour. This untitled illustration was a quick and happy one. Using an ink pen, I enlarged the brush size to get a thick circumference. I selected the symmetry option and using the line tool I began to draw line segments that connected at (what I hope are) 90 degree angles. I finished the quick draw by adding smiles for the little man sitting at the top. (hee hee).
Some of the patterns have a tribal feel because I drew inspiration from my recent study of my family’s ancestral masks.
Looking closely at the second image, it could also be a schematic for an over engineered device. There are many intersections of line that make the design more complex than the earlier illustration and the pattern repeats itself four times. I think that the over stimulating nature of the pattern and the repetition could make for an overwhelming image; which is why I decided to use muted colours that would interact in a more calming manner.
This last illustration is a favourite. I really like it as a background and I think or has a high potential for application across different media.