Transition from Fine Art to Illustration



  • Yes, I'm on the same journey and it's very hard to break away from just painting what you see!

    It looks like you're off to a great start.



  • Me too 😁 I painted realistically in oil, a lot of pet portraits, it's hard to transition over. A lot harder than I thought! I'm getting there but I have spent a year working on it nearly every day for hours. This is my most recent illustration. If you peek at my Instagram you will see some very representational work. It's a challenge but I find illustration uses my imagination more and I really find myself smiling when drawing ( when it's going well LoL)
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  • hello! I am the same.

    18 months ago I started to draw a children book, having no real background in drawing. I was quickly stocked and could not solve any of the problems. Because I relied so much on the photos, the hero of my book looked stiff and the composition a patchwork of items. I thought, at that time, that I was lacking in fundamental skills and I started to draw a lot (from real life models, from photos, I did urban sketching, botanic illustration, etc).

    I gave another attempt this week and a friend of mine, looking at me trying to design a character (from photos again) stopped me and told me to sketch very quickly my character (since now I have a good grab at how crocodiles should look like, having drawn hundred of them from photographs) and use the first sketch as a base. The next sketch would be the same sketch, but moving a leg, then the tail, and so on. After that, still from memory and still very quickly, he made me change the angle. Honestly I was amazed : not only my character has its own design without even trying (meaning I was able to draw a "children friendly" character), but also the drawing is very energetic and very true despite imperfections here and there.

    The lesson is that you learn by experimenting. I was so unsure of my skills that I was afraid to do anything else than copying (also, I really really like being in control). My advice is : be bold and be uncomfortable. Get out of your comfort zone. Try things that you find silly. To tell the truth, I was quite annoyed by my friend at the start until I recognized the benefit of it. It has definitely unlock something and I am now able to take up the project again with more confidence.

    Good luck!



  • @sigross This is really valuable advice - thank you! 🙂



  • @Coley I'm the exact same way! Sometimes, painting portraits can feel monotonous compared to creating a scene from imagination! I catch myself smiling too. It feels good to know I'm not alone in that. I always thought most illustrators were just inherently good at creating characters. Your work is so beautiful!



  • @Julia This is so encouraging and also great advice! Thank you so much for your response. I tend to stay in my comfort zone, but when I started playing with the idea of illustrating children's books, I was excited, but also scared. I have developed this one skill set with painting, and didn't want to feel like a "bad artist" because I'm struggling with illustration. But the challenge of it is also thrilling and I'm eager to learn! Thanks again.



  • Your work is beautiful! I would love to buy a children's book with your illustrations!



  • @Kaela-McCoy I feel exactly the same 😀



  • @Coley I looked at your Instagram, and all I can say is WOW!!!! I'm completely inspired!!!!



  • @Sarah-Foelske Wow, thank you!!! That means so much to me!


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