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August 22, 2010

Since I finished this illustration for one of the fairy tales a friend is writing, I knew I had to give it another try. At that point I did my best, but originally I had planned to do a different scene and last week I felt confident enough to try it again.

I took a lot of photos during the drawing process and can therefore give you a long entry about the creation process:

Everything begins with a first thumbnail sketch where I try to get an idea for the composition. I did a few but the first one turned out to be “the one”!

first sketch

Next: I transfer the rough composition on my watercolour paper, in this case: Canson illustration board.

step 2

Now I work out all the details.


Often this step includes looking for reference pictures or taking them by myself like this one:

hand reference

Eventually the lineart is finished:


Normally I start the colouring with the background, this time however I chose a detail to begin with, because it was important to get this element of smoke right.

starting to colour

For the background I had to use masking fluid to protect the borders of the palace.

masking fluid

I actually hate to use masking fluid and as you can see I really should use it more effectively.

final background

What takes most of the time is the colouring and working out all details with colour. From here it’s all about patience.

mermaid skin detail

more details

Hours later with a little contrast correction in Photoshop the illustration is finished:

I hope you enjoyed this post about my creation process!

Have a nice Sunday!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Vout permalink
    August 24, 2010 5:15 pm

    The fairy tale seems very sad…
    I expecially like the mermaid’s/merman’s look.

    • August 29, 2010 8:37 am

      The fairy tale actually has an happy ending! The dead girl is going to be rescued!

      Thanks for stopping by! *hugs*

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