View Full Version : Traditional illustration techniques.

05 May 2005, 09:56 AM
Does anyone know of any good sites for trad. illustration? I don't mean Loomis-- (although he is excellent and I am going through his books.) I'm looking more for information regarding materials and actual rendering methods in trad. media. Prismacolor, airbrushing, pen & ink, etc.

Any tips would be very much welcome!

05 May 2005, 10:22 AM
on traditional side i always used only A4 photocopy paper
and a HB pencil


05 May 2005, 10:33 AM
You finnish luddite!:D

05 May 2005, 10:39 AM
*closes dictonary*

*ahem* I always wanted a computer to ease up the work,
so I wasn't again'st the tech :) . It was that anything more
than pencil and paper seemed too difficult and troublesome,
unlike with computer :D




05 May 2005, 01:37 PM

The illustrators bible is cool, I knwo you wanted sites but I thought I'd post this anyway

05 May 2005, 09:55 PM
If you're looking to create art with traditional media (non-digital) I'd suggest choosing one medium and learning it thoroughly. The application of soft pastel will be different from oil pastel which is nothing like pen and ink. I'm sure there are plenty of sites just for airbrushing as well as for pastel, watercolor, etc. Start doing searches for key brand names that you know of. Often the manufacturers will have galleries of people who've created masterpieces with their products and may provide links to useful sites.

Do you have a preference for one over another?

05 May 2005, 10:47 PM
Well, I have 1 year of art school behind me, so I have experience in most media (except for airbrushing.) However, it was in a 'fine art' sort of environment, which is rather different...

..Hmmm...I guess my main question is-- how do illustrators develop their techniques in traditional media as opposed to fine artists?

If this doesn't make sense, let me know and I'll clarify .:D

05 May 2005, 11:03 PM
.... Soup, you sound like a guy who sells art supplies... :D

05 May 2005, 11:07 PM
.... Soup, you sound like a guy who sells art supplies... :D

And you sound like an illustrator who wouldn't mind helping a struggling fellow artists out of the turret :D .
Do you have any resources/tips/etc?

05 May 2005, 11:48 PM
I'm pure digital ;)
My traditional tools are pencil, paper (I discovered that marker paper is very suitable for pencil line work - for me that is) and various black pens (mostly Sakura) for inking.
Colors all digital (Painter)... I don't have a traditional media background (only did some stuff with watercolors and color pencils...).
So I'm not your best source ... your worst at best :)

But I searched my bookmarks and found this. Hope it's useful. I have more, but have to dig deeper :scream:.

linky (
linky2 ( - click: making process bottom right
linky3 ( - click: studio tips -

05 May 2005, 12:21 AM
I googled around without much luck - quite frustrating

How about getting a hold of illustrations whose style you like, get the appropriate materials and copy the illustration - with big focus on technique?


05 May 2005, 11:07 AM
Good links, Marlon..that's the type of thing I was looking for!!

Gord..Yes..not too many resources out there, I'm afraid. Good idea to copy other's techniques- I'm already sort of doing that, I wanted to know if there were any resources out there, like the ones marlon posted.

05 May 2005, 12:07 PM
Try and Google "Creative Source" it is a collection of illustrators and photographers.

As for how we illustrators develope our style or use of any media , it is the same as the fine artist. Trail and error. You can look up N.C. Wyeth, Norman Rockwell, Howard Pyle, Dana Gibson, Maxfield Parrish, J.C. Leyendecker. Therre are many many books out there on these great painters. Go to the local book store and there are magazines on Wildlife painters, western painters etc. You have to do a lot of digging but you will find the info. There are some great magazines and books about airbrushing , this takes practice and for thought.
There is no room for mistakes with airbrushing. Unlike in photoshop where we have layers or the erase tool and thank God for the undo button. But you learn how to use your "mistakes" to your advantage. But you will need to be patient. The hard work will pay off. And here is the great thing... the skills will transfer to the computer.

Hope this is of help.

05 May 2005, 02:30 PM
..Hmmm...I guess my main question is-- how do illustrators develop their techniques in traditional media as opposed to fine artists?

I assumed that Norman Rockwell used the same techniques as an illustrator as any of the Dutch masters. Not sure, but I think you'll find more shared techniques among oil painters than between a watercolor illustrator and a pastel illustrator. Do you mean "how does a person develop their own signature style"?

Sorry, I'm still not clear on the question. :blush:

BTW, I second enialadam's book recommendation. :thumbsup: It's got individual tips about a variety of media used by illustrators and contains a nice explanation of all materials used.
I also remember walrus ( Dashow) has some good insight into the business side of book illustration on his website. I don't remember if he got into technique, though.

edit: I just checked. Still good technical info, but it's all about digital illustration.

.... Soup, you sound like a guy who sells art supplies... :D

Art2 - Huh? How did you know my secret identity? ;)
Before this I used to sell books. Don't get me started with book recommendations.

05 May 2005, 03:12 PM
Cennini forums (

A lot of knowledge about materials and techniques for traditional media, might be mostly for fine art but probably some goodies for illustrators as well - been a while since I last visited so I can't say for sure.

05 May 2005, 03:28 PM
here's another (

05 May 2005, 04:41 PM
Before this I used to sell books. Don't get me started with book recommendations.

Book recommendations would be useful too....I'm looking for the sort of thing that Marlon is posting-- keep 'em coming, Marly!

CGTalk Moderation
05 May 2005, 04:41 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.