Swiss Cuchi

iPad Hero

3 Kings



Monica Bubenheim

Über Illustration: Approach and workflow

Depending on whether the job is a solely artistic implementation or it is about the development of a fundamental idea, either for posters, album- or magazine-covers, T-shirts. Commercials, film-titles etc. - it always starts with a scribble.

Before I start out I collect references and sources of inspiration. I make some notes and scan for ideas, once I pinned down what the desired effect on the target group/audience is. To prevent unpleasant surprises along the road, I check basic things like picture format, colour space and whether the illustration needs to be vectorized in order to scale into any size.

In the first scribble, I try to quickly capture the image as a whole, to arrange the proportions of the single elements and the composition. With complex images I prefer a digital approach. This allows for easy arrangement of layers, positioning and transforming elements. Also, it simplifies working out and clearly rendering details based on some rough scribbles. When it seems beneficial to continue with traditional media (pen&paper, mostly), I get the picture printed and put it on the light table.

For communications with the client, I send one or several scribbles as bases for discussion. Once for the initial narrowing down of ideas and later for approval of the composition.

In the face of diversified challenges, it aids me that I always liked to play and experiment with various styles. So I can choose a certain style or drawing technique especially for the job and prevent to turn into a one-trick pony or slide too much into a corner. Thereby also the choice of tools and medium is crucial: Paper/cardboard with pencil, ink or watercolour, oils, acrylics or digital, using a graphic tablet and a digitiser pen in a software like Photoshop or Sketchbook.

Paper structure and material qualities of drawing tools and colours are quite difficult to simulate digitally, so I prefer to produce as many elements as possible on paper whenever the chance is given and later scan them to further work on them in a graphic program. Once digitalised, I can tweak and adjust at will and use layers and masks to optimise the final illustration.