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Designer’s Guide: How To Create Illustrations Step By Step

by Designhill Tweet - in Illustration Design

How To Create Illustrations Step By Step

Last updated on February 25th, 2023

Illustrations are everywhere today. It has reached almost every sphere of our life when it comes to depicting different aspects of our lives. These unique visuals are now regularly being used in promoting brands through posters and other artworks. Newbie or wannabe illustrators can learn illustrations by adopting a step-by-step approach.

Many artists intend to pick creating illustrations as a career. Indeed, it is a fruitful career, but at the same time, you have to deal with the unannounced competition.

There are thousands of talented illustrators who try to drive buyers in numerous ways. So, to catch potential customers’ attention and increase sales, your illustrations must stand out in many ways.

What is an Illustration?

An illustration is about explaining or clarifying something through drawing, painting, or printed work. It is a visual interpretation of a text or a concept. The power of an illustration is in its unique way of telling a story. This is why most brands use this art form to convey their stories to the target audience.

What is the scope of illustrations?

Due to its visual impact on viewers, illustration today is being used to convey a brand message. A piece of illustration work as a painting can also be appreciated for its aesthetic value.

Given its usefulness, a wide variety of sectors are using illustrators. These sectors include published media, posters, flyers, books, magazines, animations, films, teaching materials, video games.

What are the different types of illustrations?

Usually, we see some posters or some storybooks and limit our perspective of illustrations to those few examples. On the contrary, there are many types of illustrations prevailing in the modern commercial world. The fact is that these can be categorized as per their use in different fields.

So, there can be many types of illustration. However, most common types include :

  • Architectural Illustration
  • Archaeological Illustration
  • Narrative Illustration
  • Scientific Illustration
  • Botanical Illustration
  • Concept art
  • Fashion illustration
  • Technical Illustration
  • Medical Illustration
  • Picture books
  • Information graphics

However, when it comes to starting your career as an illustrator artist, you should take each step in the right direction. Some artists can not decide if they should first begin learning drawing or do digital software.

Or, they want to go all directions and end up going nowhere. If you adopt a systematic approach, illustration is undoubtedly proving to be an attractive and lucrative occupation.

The most important skill you need to have is a strong style that you can call your own. The clients and buyers should identify you from your style.

But this can be achieved through the regular practicing of the art and style. It is also important that you follow a designer guide to be on the right track.

Here Is The Step-by-Step Guide For Illustrations That Designers Should Follow To Create Amazing Illustrations

Step 1: Get Some Inspiration

The first step to create an illustration is to get an inspirational idea. An inspirational idea is something basic and unique that you will work on to do the illustration. Inspiration is vital for all creative works, even if you create a design or illustration. But where are the sources of inspiration?

Some Inspiration For Illustration

You have many options to explore in this regard. Most illustrators visit Instagram and Pinterest pages of other reputed illustrators.

Read the design and art blogs of famous artists and designers. You need to observe and explore to cultivate your taste for illustration.

Look for different aspects, such as color combinations, techniques, themes, and compositions.

If you combine these observations with your personal experience, you may have a new illustration idea. You should think of browsing through magazines, looking at billboards, website banners, and inspiration.

Step 2: Organize Your Ideas

As an illustrator, make it a habit to keep track of your ideas. You might have many of them that you accumulated over the past many days. Sometimes, looking back at those ideas is useful in getting something to work on when starting a new illustration.

Organize Your Illustration Ideas

When having an illustration idea, record your verbal or text descriptions of it to recall what you were thinking of it initially. You can also have a quick sketch of how the illustration should look to the viewers. So, keep your ideas organized.

Step 3: Make Sketches

Before starting to create illustrations, it would help if you go through the sketching phase. A few of the illustrators skip the sketching part of it and straight away start working on their drawings on design software.

They right away use a computer to do the work. They usually prefer correcting the design as they proceed with it on the software. Others prefer first sketching their drawing on a piece of paper.

Make Sketches

But it would be good if you do some quick sketches of different proportions. You can also do a mix of hand sketching and computer sketching.

Step 4: Complete The Drawing

When converting your sketches into drawing, most illustrators have their unique processes and preferences. You can directly start doing the drawing part on software such as Adobe Illustrator or Procreate digitally.

If you want first to ensure that you have a closer look at how your drawing looks on a piece of paper, then finish it with details. Then, you can scan and trace the drawing digitally.

Complete The Drawing

A tip to drawing that you should follow is keeping the future customer of your illustration in mind. Who is most likely to buy? You should know your customer.

This will help you target the customers well by creating what they like. You will then pick the color combination and other elements accordingly. You should also explore some Adobe Illustrator hacks to make your job a little easier.

Step 5: Refine Your Idea

Once you are done with the drawing part, it is now the time to refine it as much as you can. Take your time to do this part of the illustration. You will be changing the layout frequently to find out the right one for the type of illustration you intend to do.

Refine Your Illustration Idea

Then, you will also look for a perfect composition. This is also the time to pick the right colors and try different combinations until you find the perfect one. You may also think of adding new elements to the drawing at this phase. At this point, some useful designer hacks can add more value to your artwork.

Step 6: Make It Stand Out

Like this guide says, make sure that your illustration looks unique, and it stands out. The illustration work you submit to your client or your online store should make you proud of your talent and efforts. So, when creating an illustration, think of ways to improve it further.

Unique Illustration

Look at the illustration from the buyers’ perspective. Ask yourself how the prospective buyer will be using the illustration. Its purpose is to put it on their website, print, fabric, banner, book cover, or elsewhere.

Step 7: Think of Details, Depth, and Framing

There are some key things to keep in mind so that your illustration becomes amazingly creative and useful work.

Illustration Details

● Depth – First, make sure that your piece of illustration work looks natural. It will look so if it contains depth. It can be achieved simply by placing the objects closer to the viewer while putting others further from the eye.

● Follow The Rule Of Thirds – The rule of thirds is a composition technique, which is about strategically placing the key elements in a frame. Your key idea and element of the illustration should be placed at the intersections of the grid lines.

● Detail – Your Illustration should be laden with details to make it more attractive. In this way, your work will explore the idea in fine detail, and it will look authentic. So, do some research about the character you portray in your illustration and include those details.

● Framing – Know that your illustration work can be trimmed by the buyers to be put in a frame. So, think of it early when at the drawing stage. You should, therefore, create your illustration as a clipping of a bigger picture.

Step 8: Tell A Story

Now, check that your illustration work is telling a story to viewers. Storytelling is an effective way of communicating an idea that makes us think.

Remember that without any story in it, an illustration might look static. So, research the characters with their backgrounds and think of how people will perceive it.

Tell A Story

The illustration with a story enables people to see it with emotions and memories. If you are saying something to the viewers with a purpose, your illustration will resonate well with them.

Step 9: Look For Keywords

Keywords do not seem to be directly connected with the job of illustration. But in the digital age, customers should be able to locate digitally everything you sell when buyers use search engines like Google to look for illustration.

If your illustration has some keywords included in its description, it will come upon the search results. This means that your unique illustrations are immediately visible to potential customers.

Look For Keywords

So, while you are doing the illustrations, think of the keywords as well. You can then add those keywords in your illustration’s description. Take note of the keywords that come to your mind while going through the creative processing. Look for keywords that are popular with buyers.

But the keywords and description of the illustration should complement each other and make sense. So, take your time to write the description where a keyword fits in well.

These are the basic steps that you must follow to complete your illustration work with a purpose. Right from researching your audience to preparing many sketches and using design software, each phase should be attended with a focused approach.

Now that you know the key tips to create a unique illustration, you will need to sell if you wish to earn money and reputation. The first step to selling your illustration and design works is to open your online store.

You can think of PrintShop by Designhill, a leading creative marketplace, to sell your artworks. Just start your online store right away with PrintShop and set your illustration prices yourself and earn a decent profit margin.

Besides attractive profit, you access the marketplace’s massive traffic to convert them into your buyers. There are, in fact, numerous advantages of selling artwork from this platform.

Wrapping Up

Graphic designers can create amazing illustrations if they take the right steps. Right from researching the audience and getting the right inspirational illustration idea to using design software, there are several key steps to do the job with a purpose and help you to learn how to create illustrations.

Get Your Illustration Design Ideas

Designhill is the most reliable and fastest-growing custom graphic design crowdsourcing marketplace that connects a thriving community of graphic designers from across the globe with clients looking to source high quality graphic designs such as logo designs, banner designs, packaging designs, merchandise designs, web designs and many other designing works at affordable prices. In just six months of going live, the startup has helped more than 1500 businesses source unique graphic designs and has paid out more than $70000 to its ever-growing community of 29,000+ graphic designers, logo designers, visual artists and illustrators from all over the world. Facebook | Twitter | Google+

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