Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Illustration Project: Start to Finish

For this illustration imagine a line going down the middle where there would be a fold, where the spine would bisect the design.

Recently, I was commissioned to to illustrate and design a book cover for an independently published writer. I worked exclusively with her to create a feel that see liked. Here is the process we went through.

First, she gave me a number of photos to look through.
I decided this picture could make a good composition
and exuded the mood she wanted to have.

Second, I gave her sketches of what the cover
would look like as a composition with text. We
came to a conclusion we both agreed on and
proceeded to the illustration phase.

Next, I did a pen illustration of the author. Notice
that I had to draw the feet without a reference.

After the pen drawing was finished I scanned
it and added some texture and color on the
computer. This took a while.

Then I showed the author a proof.

She decided that she did not want her face
to look as cartoonish. We decided to use the
original photo and low-light areas with pen
to keep the illustration consistent. We also
decided to put her lower on the page to leave
more room for the Title text.

She liked this proof a lot.

Finally, I added some design elements. I
created a Title logo and designed other
elements in the same feel.

We were both very happy with the final
realized vision.


yoon see said...

Hi, congrats the final piece is up and thanks for sharing these the process behind. I find it so interesting. You must put a lot of effort on this from the start to the end.
Congrats on your win in the Monday Artday too Josh. The illustration is sure beautiful!

Brine Blank said...

Wow that is really nice looking. Will be using this in class as an example...hope all is well and that you are having a great Thanksgiving!!!

Matt D. Smith said...

excellent! glad it worked for both of you!

Michael said...

Fantastic work. Thanks for showing the process. I should do that with one of my pieces...

And, thanks again for "tagging" me. I usually don't write about myself, so it was an adventure!

Cathy said...

Love it - colour, design, type, everything!

piero said...

nice piece man.
it's got a nice feeling to it.
see u around

yoon see said...

there's a giveaway here:

Alina Chau said...

Love the design, nice to see your work in process too!

Tim Bye said...

Incredible stuff - really great feel to it!

Brine Blank said...


I need your home address ASAP...I have something for you.


Andrew W. Moir said...

This is great! Thank you for the detailed progression. I like the painterly/collage quality and the colors. :)

yoon see said...

Thanks for dropping by Josh.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you & your family.
Are you going back to your hometown?

Anonymous said...

This is awesome work, you might be inspired by my coworkers illustrations at

Very cool also.

yoon see said...

I see. I must look up the map to locate Encintas,CA.
Traveling long distance drive must be extra careful Josh.
As for me, I will be going up north Sungai Petani about 400km away from my home to visit my younger sister. She had just delivered a baby last month.

FrankenBarry said...

Nice work, Josh... thanks for sharing your process!

Khylov said...

Very nice piece. I think even the third-to-last part of the process could be a stand-alone. I really dig on how you used the two types of texture *within* the character (the newsprint, the octagonal texture). And nice choice of colors - is really hard to get the more muted/earthtone look to be vibrant, but you have it balanced nicely here.

Cool to see this piece. More, sir.

Highflyin' V said...

Cool man. Keep up the good work!

claudio said...

I invite you to visit my blog. you can find my last works of art at:

yours Claudio Tomassini

abrahambalcazar said...

Hi Josh! thanks for the comment and wow! I really like the mood of this one, sometimes the indepedent projects have this cool way for having the designers to play with the subject, hehe, cheers from México, bye.

Anonymous said...

thanks for going through my work.
you were lucky to have a client who cooperates so well. the end product is really good. you design type too?

Alexiev said...

Good, design...

Best wishes from Buenos Aires...
Alexiev Store