Illustration Tips

Read these 11 Illustration Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Graphic Design tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What is a thumbnail?


Thumbnails aren't on your thumbs. Not really. They're small drawings that help you test your ideas on paper for print, TV or for the web. You can use any medium to draw with, and it doesn't have to have photographic accuracy. Use a selection of these thumbnails to develop your other, more accurate layouts. Photographers find thumbnails to be extremely useful in setting up shots for client advertising.

Think of thumbnails as being a "visual brainstorming session" and get those creative juices moving!

How do I know what colors to use in Christmas card illustrations?

Holiday Colors

There are two colors for the Christmas market that always sell well. You guessed it - red and green. If you deviate from these two colors, make sure your subject matter is traditional or nostalgic.

How do I use workable fixative?

Paper Tooth Gone?

Don't get the paper tooth fairy. That won't help a thing. If you're drawing away and you suddenly realize that your paper has lost its "tooth" or grip on your medium, just spray the work with a workable fixative. This will allow you to still modify the work, but it will also give you an added texture to the illustration board or paper. This way you can continue to add the final touches.

Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area when you use any aerosol.

What is an illustrator?


Illustration today is a unique mix of computer abilities, graphic communication skills and artistic talent. Careers may be in book and magazine illustration, advertising, traditional cel animation, comic book illustration or web illustration.

How do I become a forensic illustrator?


Forensic illustrators aren't tied up in a morgue and forced to draw dead bodies. The job is actually quite thrilling, as the illustrators often are out in the field, and allowed access to information that will help render crime scenes, portraits and other details that will help solve crimes - and online crime games.

How do I become a medical illustrator?

Medical Illustrator

If you love to probe inside the human body, and you have no fear of doctors or dentists, this may be the career for you. Make that tooth beautiful! Make those veins throb! Make your living as a medical illustrator. You can learn more about this through any site on forensics or medical textbooks.

How do I learn how to draw?

Learn To Draw!

If you've been weaned on the web, don't be afraid to learn how to draw. Learning the tools of illustration can be the basis for a move up in your career. Take a drawing course online or down the street - you'll find the skills you develop will only enhance your vision and skill.

How do I use grids to learn how to draw?

Base It On Grids

Grids are an easy way to learn how to format a page, as well as how to see in learning how to draw. Use grids to find the proportion and distance in your work.

How do I become an architectural renderer?

Architectural Rendering

Leap tall buildings with a single bound! Get out and study the textures, lines and angles in the practice of architectural rendering. Proportion is important, as well as a sense of the practice of understanding how to render distance.

How do I expose myself in an online gallery?

Expose Yourself!

I rated this an advanced tip, since I believe you need to have a critiqued and substantial portfolio in order to expose yourself through online galleries with any encouraging results. There are numerous places to upload your web design, print layouts and illustrations. Take the time to scan your work right and open that overcoat!

How do I protect my hands from various media?

Bad Hand Blues

If you're tired of ending your day with dry, dirty hands, never fear! Help is here! Eliminate the effects of drying pastels, graphite, and other media on your paws by wearing surgical gloves. The gloves fit tightly and allow you to work with little compromise for the feel of the paper or the medium. Use a good hand lotion before wearing the gloves to get your hands really smooth while working.

Beware - you may be tempted to finger-paint!

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Guru Spotlight
George Sayour