Wednesday, January 16, 2019

My illustration process - Adding digital colour to hand-drawn images

I’m talking today about the process of creating the illustration above. The line was hand drawn with a digital colour layer added on Photoshop. Here’s how.

The client contacted me and briefed me as to what was required, supplying some images and specific details as to the cars to be illustrated. We agreed a fee and I returned my ‘Acceptance of Commission’ form.

The client requested some alterations.

A few more adjustments were asked for, but it was decided that I would make these of the final artwork.
I drew the image in pen, on an A3 sheet and scanned it at 300 dpi.
I opened the file up in Photoshop and added a new layer on which to put the colours, using a variety of brushes, particularly on the ‘speed’ lines.

I drew a small colour rough in pencil to try out the colour palette.

This the first colour artwork that I submitted to the client. There were a couple of minor changes to make help make the car look like it was moving faster, including taking away the strong black shadow under the front bumper.

And here is the final piece.

Below are some labels I made for the same client using a similar technique.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Making plans...

Quite a bit of time over the holidays has been spent reviewing my year so I thought I’d share the details of some of my favourite sources of stationery/books/guides that help.

I have the new ‘Dream Plan Do 2019’ from the Design Trust. It’s a workbook/manual/business guide that takes you through the year, month by month, with the aim of helping creative people “turn their ideas and creative practices into more sustainable creative businesses”. It’s the third year I’ve bought a copy and this year I am scheduling time in my diary so that I will work through it completely as I know from experience that the ‘dreaming’ and ‘planning’ are fine, but it is the ‘doing’ that really makes the difference to any creative business.

The Design Trust run workshops and the website has lots of information, much of it free, for small creative businesses and can be found at

I downloaded the free ‘Unravel Your Year’ booklet from Susannah Conway. She advocates having a word of the year rather than making resolutions and I tried this last year and found it quite a nice idea. This year’s word for me will be ‘Hone’ after last year’s ‘Develop’.

More information at

I had a lovely Christmas gift of another journal by Fran Meneses. It’s always difficult to find the perfect diary and a bit like the story of the Three Bears, they are usually too big or too small, but this one is just right! I’ve been using one throughout 2018 and it has lasted the distance. Fran has a great YouTube channel too, sharing lots of useful information for illustrators.

Shop Details -

YouTube account -

I watched the ‘Makelight Advent’ in December, a free series of daily videos from Emily Quinton. She is also part of the ‘Year of Colour’ team, who provide a free survey of your colours on Instagram. Here’s mine for this year:

Year of Colour -

Makelight -

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

London Urban Sketchers 2019 programme

If you are looking to start sketching in 2019 and live in London, you might like to look at the London Urban Sketchers programme which is now on their blog. All welcome whether you are a beginner or have lots of experience and events are free, just turn up with your own drawing materials!