How to do awesome illustrations EVERY time!



  • 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.



  • @Lee-White I keep coming across this process from various sources and I feel like I'm finally beginning to get the hang of it, but I really like how simplified your version is. And how you have to grade yourself as you go by using a check or an X! It forces you to examine your process and where you might be doing things the lazy way. But the hardest part of this whole thing by far is the 50 thumbnails part.. that's going to be a big challenge for me.



  • @Lee-White Awesome Lee. I can't wait to check it out! Thank you! -T



  • Excellent video. PDF saved and printed and up on the wall. Subscribed to the channel. Thank you!


  • SVS OG

    This is an excellent video! I really appreciated seeing examples of what each step looks like. Now I can clearly see how much of the process I have been skipping. Didn’t realize it before. Super helpful, Lee. This really is great for someone like me who is trying to learn this on my own.



  • @Lee-White I managed 48 thumbnails on poking a collapsed drunk Cyclops in the eye with a shard of his shepherd's staff.
    Buzzing. Top tips.

    IMG_1425 1000px.jpg



  • @sigross oh good you did one where they climb on top of the Cyclops



  • @sigross super cool. keep the good work.



  • @Lee-White I've just subscribed! Great advice and I'm looking forward to your next video! 👏


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