Workshop: Illustration

I participated in an illustration workshop with trainee teacher Dan, who is highly skilled in graphics and animation style drawing. His background in the field enabled me to get a more professional insight as to why illustrations are important and the ways in which I can go about getting started – as the initial drawing is often what I seem to struggle with. 

We began by drawing literally a ‘stick’ outline of a live model who changed positions a few times so we  could practise from multiple angles. My outcomes reminded me of contemporary art I’d seen at galleries like the Saatchi and Tate Modern so I found it almost amusing that such a highly sought after style can be achieved so effortlessly. Dan informed that we should keep our pencils with a loose grip and only mark down the key elements for shape with line and build the form with tone and colour later. Moving onto this notion he instructed us to begin filling in from what we could see using whatever media we felt most comfortable with. My choice was watercolour as I’ve always had a fondness for the way the colours can merge dependant on the amount of water used. For areas which needed to be darker (shadows, outlines etc.) I used a more concentrated paint by drying the brush slightly. This additionally made for sharper lines which ultimately made it possible to decipher creases and movement in what was representing the garment. For the areas more central to the body I tried to keep the brush damp to allow the paint to flow through the water leaving a notable transparency while providing colour to fill the empty space. 

I wasn’t as pleased with the outcome as I could have been. I used to use watercolour paint frequently and feel as though my abilities in the technique have faltered. I will improve by continuing practise and ideally by the next project will see a definite improvement in my illustration. 

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