Illustration is two fold; how you draw and what you draw. The how is the practical skills, your understanding of the medium (in example pencil/paint), anatomy, gesture, etc. The what is the content, story, character, illustration style and mood conveyed in your art. Levelling up both these sides of your illustration skills is important and often artists tend to focus on the how and not the what and this can lead to beautiful but uninspiring work.
You may have mastered the pen or the brush but your illustrations can still appear dry or amateurish if you don’t have intriguing content. I know each and everyone of you reading this are filled with great ideas and awesome art, however you may be struggling to realise these stories and visuals in your work.
In light of this I have created a class series for you, helping you add depth, character and story to your illustrations. The first course which is released today focuses entirely on your characters and figures, creating real personalities in them to draw your audience into your art and activate an emotive response and connection.
Before you start reading, if you want to catch up on part one and two just click below.
PART 1 | PART 2
If you are all caught up let’s begin with part 3. We finished off last way back in time at university. Well now we move forward a bit and it is time for a bit of self exploration. Now it is time for ‘The Elephant Who Forgot What He Was’. This is a beautiful poem I found online by Christopher Ronald Jones (if you are reading Chris please let me know what you think of my adaptation, would love to get in touch). I had decided after illustrating an Australian classic it was time to dip my toes into the water of children’s poetry, and see what my imagination came up with.
This little project took me about a month to develop from concept to completion and is still one of my favourite personal projects to date.
It started like all good picture books do, with a pinch of reading, a dash of pagination and a big dollop of story boarding. I spent about a week figuring out the layout of this 32 page pipe dream and then off I went full steam ahead into the fun of character design and creating an aesthetic for this sweet little story.