The Illustration Technique

It was something I hadn’t intended to do at all and in fact if you look at all 4 themes with the Botanical one (which was the first theme I drew) you’ll see I just did standard solid line ink drawings. But then as I started making my way through the Stargazer theme and drawing clouds I didn’t really like the effect of solid lines, they weren’t delicate enough. So I did one using pointillism in essence (except I only used black ink, not the traditional mixture of colours to create an image which is true pointillism) and I liked the final look. The video below is of me doing one of the little clouds.

So I then decided to try this technique out with other illustrations, and my word I wish I hadn’t! Don’t get me wrong I was happy with the level of detail that could be achieved but in order to make it look half decent I had to do thousands of tiny individual dots to create a final piece and it’s very time consuming, it literally drives you dotty. Ha! Sorry, couldn’t help it.

I won’t stick to this one technique forever, even though it’s pretty important to establish your ‘style’ as an artist, my problem is I love so many different styles that I want to try various ones out for different projects. I saw a video of an artist doing an alcohol ink abstract painting and it was stunning, so I promptly bought all the stuff and gave it a whirl. They recommend using a heat gun on its lowest setting to gently manipulate the ink and blend the colours, but as I didn’t have a heat gun I used the next best thing which was my hairdryer. Its lowest setting might as well be called ‘hurricane’ as rather than delicately diffuse the ink around the paper it instead shot it up into the air then the paper spun round and splatted onto the floor. I gave up after the fifth attempt. I’m sticking to my dots just for now.

A lot of people who are self-confessed non-creative types do understandably wonder why on earth artists/sculptors/ceramicists etc. charge the amount they do for their work. The answer for that really is time. It takes a lot of time to create something and so when someone sees the price of an oil painting or a hand painted vase and nearly passes out with panic at the price tag please take a moment to consider how many hours that person spent making it, plus the cost of the materials which are most definitely not cheap, and then the commission that is taken from the place it’s being displayed in, and then the profit. I have definitely had moments when I’ve thought nope, not doing this anymore it’s too much work for such a miniscule profit. But then I think about the fact that I now answer to myself, I design what I want, I work from home so if I want to sit in the garden in the sunshine armed with a coffee (after 5pm it switches to wine) for however long I fancy I can do, and that despite the usual worries a small business owner has, I am actually very happy doing what I do. Plus I still buy lottery tickets. Well you never know!