How to do awesome illustrations EVERY time!

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    I hate my work title card.jpg

    Hey guys, I finally set up my youtube channel and will be making new content every other week. My first one is about how to do an illustration that you like every time! Just follow my step by step process! Download is included in the youtube description. : )

    Please go and subscribe so I can catch will and Jake. Only need a few hundred thousand new people! haha!


  • @Lee-White what a perfect illustration for the topic😂

  • This is fantastic! I often skip the color study stage and I see how much better the work is and how it'll save so much time in the end by prepping everything before working on the final art.

    This'll be life altering!

    Thank you!

  • 301 🙂 your subscription will rise I have no doubt. Now you 3 have a podcast and youtube. Nice!

  • SVS OG

    That’s why my little deer didn’t turn out like I hoped. So, we are just going to call them “color studies.” And I’ll do a few more prelims and then we should be all good! Ha! Great episode. Can’t wait for more to come.

  • Pro

    @Lee-White Very interesting video! I've never been taught this but over the years developed my own process which ended up eerily similar to this one. However I don't do quite as much as you do and I wonder if that's a problem? I usually have a long, thorough research period and always get a very clear idea in my head of what I want by the end of it. I do about 10 thumbnails and try different compositions just in case I stumble upon one that better than what I have in my head. But I'd say 19 times out of 20, my best thumbnail is the first one I did, my original idea. Because of that, I don't feel the need to force out more thumbnails after the first 10. Is that bad? Most of the prep work I do is working out other problem aspects of the illustration, like doing multiple value and color tests and sketching out different poses to figure out the best ones.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @NessIllustration I wouldn't saying doing only 10 thumbnails is "bad" per se, but I'd like to invite you to try out 50. The reason (in my opintion) that you often like your first thumbnail best is that when you only do 10, you don't really stretch it too far. You are still sort of attached to that first or 2nd thumbnail.

    But, when you get past 10, things start to become MUCH harder. You will hit a point where you think "I don't know what else I can do here!". That is where the fun begins. Unexpected solutions happen then. Often times around thumbnail #35 I get ideas that were much different than I originally thought the image would be. Many times it's more interesting at that point.

    The cool part is that even if it's not better, you still have that great 1st thumbnail you started with! So you aren't really out anything for trying. There is literally no consequence for doing the additional thumbnails. PLUS, you get the added bonus of being very confident in your design because you tried all these other options. Remember, the goal is not only to get good results but to be confident and relaxed in your decisions. : )

  • Pro SVS OG

    That was awesome!

  • @Lee-White you've always been my favourite speaker in the podcast 😊 nice that you have your own channel now! I'll definitely be among the thousand of thousands

  • Congrats on the new channel @Lee-White! Hurry up and get those numbers up, so we can brag about knowing you when you only had like 300 subscribers. 😉

  • @Lee-White I've not thought of pushing myself to 50 thumbnails before. I think its a great idea because I'm a bit slow at the start. This way I can see thumbnail ideas that I can combine too, super combos. Or switch, tilt, zoom and flip the camera angle. I'm just trying it now. Almost half way through.

  • @Lee-White great video—breaking it down into manageable logical steps is so helpful!

    I don’t know if others run into this or if it would even make sense for a youtube video. I would appreciate tips about developing the thumbails at step 2. When I try to keep them small like a little over an inch to force shapes NOT drawing, they invariably turn into tiny (bad) drawings. If you could give us a peek into your thumbnails-without-drawing-brain, I would find that very instructive.

    Thanks for such a systematic approach to improving illustrations!

  • Pro

    @BichonBistro I think they're supposed to look like tiny bad drawings! I do a lot of stick figures, or just an oval to designate a character. Thumbnails are about figuring out the concept and composition, nothing else. You can think of it more like an idea stage than a drawing stage.

  • @NessIllustration I can’t seem to stick with the sticks! even on such a small scale, I don’t seem to be able to keep it simple shapes & lines 🤔

  • SVS OG

    I am very excited you are doing this channel and hope you will included some videos on watercolor because I loved your SVS videos on that. I would also like to see a video (or hear a podcast from all three of you) about how to exercise and develop your imagination. I have difficulty coming up with 5 thumbnails and am not sure I’m creative enough to come up with 50. Is there a way to strengthen imagination just as one strengthens other skills?

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @demotlj I'll be doing some watercolor demos as well as acrylic and oil.

  • @Lee-White Thank you for doing this video not only was it extremely helpful but it was very thorough and also to the point. No circling around or digressions.
    Your personality is very empathetic with artist struggles and you clearly know what you’re talking about. You should make more of these.

    I’m starting to think this might be why I sometimes lose focus on what the topic was in 3 point perspective. Because I like order too much? Haha

    Thanks so much for breaking things down I have had so many times where I am not enjoying the process as much, and I think about that but can never understand why I sometimes do but sometimes dont. Hopefully this will be what makes my art way more fun consistently.

  • Moderator

    @Lee-White said in How to do awesome illustrations EVERY time!:

    you still have that great 1st thumbnail

    I’m glad you mentioned this, I was going to ask if you ever decide the early stuff is better when you are done. Do you ever have moments of indecision when you can’t decide if something is better or just different?

  • Definitely the reason I have a plethora of unfinished projects and only a handful of finished ones. I would just skim steps 1-3, completely skip step 4 and go right to 5 and 6. I don't consider myself great at planning or management, but I am an absolute pro at succumbing to impulses. I am only now teaching myself to go through these steps in my own fashion, and really enjoy them as they happen.

    It used to be for the instant gratification of 'making something cool', no thought, just trying to get the images in my head onto paper or screen and say "hey internet, look what I did! Justify my existence by telling me I'm good!"

    I pretty much hated everything I did and thought I was never good enough. It became debilitating actually. The link between process and result didn't click for me. It's been a complex mix of creativity VS self worth and a serious lesson in self perception.

    Now that I've learned to slow down and think more about the process, I find I enjoy it even more. I look forward to the end result without expecting it to be exactly as I see it (because vision and ability never quite match up anyway) and without judging myself too harshly. The perfectionist monster is almost defeated!

    Seeing your process is helpful. And as for your list, well it's definitely practical and I really could have used the understanding it provides years ago. But better late than never, right?

    Great work on the video!

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @burvantill I'll be going over this in another video : )

  • @Amanda-Jean I relate so strongly to the perfectionist monster problem!! 😭 It's getting a little easier each time I make something, but can still trip me up in the color study/final render stage. Giving myself to just draw dumb or pointless stuff in my sketchbook has also been helpful. And taking a looong social media break as I learn this work process.

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