The Illustrating Writer
The Art of Illustration
Illustrating images has been a way of communication for thousands of years with the earliest examples discovered in Lascaux, France, where cave paintings were determined to be circa 15,000 B.C. In ancient civilizations such as those of Greece and Italy, art became a major way of life and was used to honor their gods. And let's not forget ancient Egypt where hieroglyphics were used to communicate history, ruling pharaohs and their practices.
"In the Middle Ages, narrative pictorials appeared in illuminated manuscript." During this time, recording religious writings was the main reason for creating detailed images. Of course from there, with the invention of different printing techniques came new ways of displaying images and text for consumer viewing. Then came the profession of being an illustrator. The profession took hold during the 1800s when artists would create small prints to be sold in stalls or small streets shops.
Types of Illustrations
- Woodcutting - This illustration- form gained popularity in the middle ages and was prominently used after the printing press was invented. As the name indicates, this type of illustration is created by engraving images on wood and was widely used in China for block-printing purposes.
- Pencil Illustration - Artists use a pencil to sketch their ideas, applying varying shades, effects, and line weights. They may use color pencils or graphite lead to create unique and stunning illustration.
- Charcoal Illustration - Charcoal illustration may not appear as precise as pencil illustration, however, this type of illustration is used in stories, portraits, and in cases where rough construction lines need visibility.
- Lithography Illustration - Lithography and traditional illustration styles and techniques complement each other every well. Earlier, people used wax, fat or oil to draw on the smooth surface of a limestone plate. However, at present, offset lithography is widely used to create illustration. .
- Watercolor Illustration - The fineness associated with watercolor illustration allows it to be used as an effective tool for storytelling. Watercolor artwork is noted for its detailing and depth and no wonder why it is is extensively used in children’s books. Using a delicate and creative combination of airy and lighter shades, artists can create extraordinary, thought-provoking watercolor illustration.
- Acrylic Illustration - This type of illustration is ideal for beginners. Artists use acrylic paint on various surfaces such as cloth or canvas to create an illustration. Acrylic paints are available in different finishes and they become water-resistant once they dry up.
- Pen and Ink Illustration - This illustration type is noted for its precision and detailing, and its ability to create contrasts between the elements. Even though pen and ink illustration is monochromatic, it is still possible to create detailed work by applying a single color with varying tints on the plain surface.
- Freehand Digital Illustration - Freehand digital illustration is created in the same way how artists use pen and ink to create traditional illustration. Artists creating digital art use stylus or tablet pen to give their imaginations a concrete shape. Artists can create stunning digital illustration styles through an appropriate use of multiple colors, tools, and brush presets.
The Illustrating Writer
Ever since I was a young child, I have been fascinated with art and drawing. From crayon scribbles to digital compositions, I have dabbled in all sorts of mediums. In addition to my writing skills, being artistic with visual design as well has come in handy. I design my own book covers, and also plan to see pre-made book covers. When not using the computer, I find pleasure in abstract and landscape painting, especially with creating wild backgrounds and attaching found objects.