Looking back at the Illustration Process

While I am eager and most excited to complete the final stages of VIZAĜO, a slight problem with a broken finger has forced me to be patient for a few weeks, something I struggle with on the best of days… Yet attempting to clamber up rocks on a bushwalk was so hilariously silly that I’m just going to have to deal with a bit of healing time :)

Having discovered that typing is slow though most doable with two fingers strapped together, I thought it could be fun to look back at the illustration process on my now almost complete deck of cards.

From Idea & Inspiration to Drawing

The story of Jacks, surrounded by inspiration and colour

A bowl, a painting, keys, cards & drawing tools

Some of the early ink drawings for VIZAĜO appeared in posts at the start of this journey. Here, the drawings have been cleaned up, ready for painting – and and are surrounded by things that inspire, along with drawing tools and previews of the cards in colour…

VIZAĜO Queen of Hearts and Clubs on the drawing board

A very hot photo shoot …

We’re in the middle of a heat wave here and with a hot wind blowing (think hair dryer), it was an interesting challenge to keep everything in place on the small table I used (outside) to take the photos, especially as Filemon the cat was most eager to be involved …

The inked Queen of Spades and Diamonds

My favourite drawing tools are …

The ink pens I use are rOtring Rapidographs (I adore these pens!), the ink is super black, which I really like … and they feel just lovely to work with. They’re not cheap but they do last a very long time (the only one I had any trouble with was a super fine 0.13mm nib, which is quite notorious for clogging up). I use these pens for everything from line drawings, like the Queens above, to intricate and detailed drawings, like the ocean scene below:

Seeking Refuge - pen & ink drawing - Annette Abolins

Seeking Refuge – pen & ink drawing – Annette Abolins

Drawing hair and beard

The King and Queen of Clubs both have curly hair, which was a lot of fun to draw. As was the beard on the King of Hearts …Starting with a feint pencil sketch, which helps me work out the size, form and start of the drawing. I then ink over the top and keep adding more detail as I go. Soft (kneadable) erasers comes in handy to remove pencil lines before scanning, I prefer them over the hard erasers, because they don’t lift the ink or wear the drawing paper.

Drawing King of Clubs and Hearts

Two inked Kings: Spades and Diamonds

Drawing the Jokers for VIZAĜO

Jokers and Keys …

Ending with the two Jokers on the drawing board – and a little heads up to explain the keys … I find old keys both mysterious and inspiring (these came from the farm where my husband grew up) each one has a door, which only it can open … I like the association that keys can unlock creativity, new discoveries and exciting ideas along the way.

I hope you enjoyed this visit to the drawing board – until next time, take care!
Annette :)

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4 comments on “Looking back at the Illustration Process

  1. Diane

    I really do admire you, doing all of that yesterday when the temperature actually reached 43C here where we are. It was interesting to be given a glimpse of the drawing process and then to be able to connect the ‘beginning’ with the wonderful end result. On the subject of keys, I could not agree more – I have a whole box of them…

    Reply
    1. AnnetteAnnette Post author

      A box of keys sounds amazing :) Thank you for stopping by to say hello, I’m glad you enjoyed this little look at the drawing process – I’m certainly looking forward to being able to pick up a pen again! :)

      Reply
  2. Melissa

    Hi Annette, these cards look incredible! I love your style and the colours are brilliant. I’m working on designing my first deck of poker cards and read about your project on the playing card forum. I can see you’ve been working on them since at least last summer I guess? I reckon it’ll take me a good few months to finish mine as well! I look forward to following your launch :)

    Reply
    1. AnnetteAnnette Post author

      Thanks so much for stopping by Melissa, and for your kind words on my design :) It definitely is a labour of love (hours turn into weeks and months), though I get so much enjoyment from designing a deck of cards – it’s a lot like having a story unfold in front of my eyes! Wishing you luck with your card project, and likewise, I’m looking forward to seeing more of your designs!

      Reply

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