Illustration Process

I am currently illustrating a Portuguese book for children. It is my first work for a real client. As I didn’t know anything about illustration processes I had to learn by myself. I decided to illustrate with watercolor. I drew just the characters and the background would be added later.IMG_20170120_154935IMG_20170122_182640

I then emailed the editor to ask the type of file I should send. I was told that the best for them was for the illustrations to be in vectors because they would need to make pop-ups in bigger dimensions. Of course, I panicked. The deadline is already short and my illustrations were in pixels and not in vectors so I emailed Claire about it. Claire appeared on my desk the next morning and explained everything to me in just 10 minutes! The process of my illustrations was:

  • Scan them in 300 dpi ( enough resolution )
  • After editing them on photoshop save them as a high-quality JPEG
  • Go to adobe illustrator – Open new
  • Place – Image trace – High fidelity colour
  • Expand
  • Save!

That way I could convert my pixelated illustrations into vectored ones. I also learned how to select a certain part of an image and place it into a different background.

These are the stages:


I believe this job will help me a lot when it comes to connections and learning about illustration processes.


Illustration Postcard

Project 1, Illustration Postcard

For this postcard my initial ideas were:

  • Nature vs. machines?
  • Casino – poker chips (red, white/blue, green, blue, black)
  • Comics – Humor

After realising that I was having trouble developing ideas I went for a deeper research on this comic artist I’ve always liked: Sarah Andersen. I saw that she had just released a new book called   “Adulthood is a myth” so I went to the book store and bought it. I found Sarah really interesting. This is how she presents herself “Hello! I’m Sarah and I’m a 24 year old cartoonist and illustrator.  I graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2014 and currently live in Brooklyn.  My comics are semi-autobiographical and follow the adventures of myself, my friends, and my beloved pets.”   She has illustrative work as well : Andersen’s art. This girl started quite young doing illustration and comic work and as I’m more and more keen on pursuing an illustration/cartoon based degree I enjoyed knowing more about her.

I also got inspiration by:

  • Mitchell MacNaughton’s work and his use of geometric shapes and shadows to create the human body. It shows that every person has it’s way of looking at things and I simply like his vision.
  • Brendan Dawes’s work, again, the use of geometric shapes but in a complete different way. The use of circles! I got interested mainly because I had the poker chips in mind and it could be helpful to develop that idea through Brendan’s illustrations.

Later on I started my A1 sheet (I split the A1 in 2, left side for the typography postcard and right side for the illustration one). Developing my ideas through sketching and experiences helped me to quickly find a final work idea. I tried doing a small comic, I studied the design of the poker chips, their shape and colour, the casino itself (the architecture) and some other ideas such as Sanremo’s landscapes. I followed the poker chips idea and did some experiences and came up with my final postcard!


My final A1 sheet:


Colour tests:

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The one in the middle (with the detailed green poker chip) was the one that worked better for me so…

My final Postcard: