My traditional illustration tools
Some people would say I am a little traditional- especially with my love of traditional Art media, and holding a good old fashioned Book or shiny magazine in your hands and turning the pages.
However, I do also love the Digital world- carrying a treasure trove in a pocket- is amazing.
But when it comes to creating- being a visual person I am hugely inspired by what I see. I am one of those messy creators with all my tools in front of me where I can see them and know instantly that I need to use that one for doing that little thing -and for that line use that colour -and that brush in that way.
Working with many different traditional media- like ink, watercolour, pastel, gouache, pencil.
Over the years I have discovered that using swatches in my work process is invaluable and instantly inspires the best tool, saving a huge amount of time trying to think! -, I can just get on with creating imagery instead of choices like ‘that Phthalo blue is too cool I should use a flat brush and add a little … and then with a pen, but which nib? …. pfft I’m exhausted just writing about thinking about that.
These are my most used swatches for my favourite art materials, and a few more I am making to use to help design my books.
Swatching out takes time and can feel monotonous, however, it really is an investment in my imagery process, it helps maintain flow, streamlines the process and saves time spent unnecessarily thinking (bonus), which when creating can result in analysis paralysis.
Whenever I look at an image and get that familiar feeling of - ‘it needs…something..’ this can be answered by flipping through my swatches. I’m not sure if it is the colours, the line- the energy of the strokes, the page layout - a memory thought while I was doing them- but a sweet angel of an idea often bursts out indicating ‘this one- this way’ and if it doesn’t,
that moment is meant for other inspirations (cuppa / nature/ walk).