Exercise 28: Character development


“Collect as many examples as possible of different characters – newspapers and magazines are a particular good source. Catalogue these characters as types – babies, children, sportsmen, old women – create your own category headings.”

Here are some images of the research I did about different character and their categories:

Women heroes:

Male heroes:

Animated characters:


“Decide upon a character you would like to create. This might be one from a book or story, or based on an archetype such as a businessman or vicar’s wife. Begin to brainstorm around your character – perhaps there are characters from the media or your own life you would like to focus on.”

I decided to create a character but based on something that sones’t have a personality, like a flower. I thought that this way it could be more interesting, trying to give life to a plant. This is the video of the creation process:

First sketch

Final images:

Calm and happy

Then try another, different character. Make sure you come up with someone completely different, not just the same person in different clothes.”

I decided to try a character using a different medium this time, I used water colors and paper instead of digital tools.

I really enjoyed this exercise, one of my favourite part was getting to play with the different facial expressions of each character and trying to express the emotions effectively. I also got a very small and simple preview of what an animation illustrator has to do to come up with a character. I found it very challenging but enriching.

Exercise 27: A visual distortion

Brief #1

Begin by drawing a cat or dog. Use reference from any source – life, photos or images from the internet. Draw the animal in a way that makes it ‘real’. Remember to describe some aspect of its appearance or personality“.

This is the illustration I created based of a picture of my cat when she was yawning:

Brief #2

“Do a second drawing using no more than five lines. These lines can join up with each other and overlap or can be less connected; they can be straight or fluid”.

I found this illustration to be quite challenging because there are many elements in this drawing. But I could do it using exactly 5 lines, even though the lines I used where really long and complicated.

Brief #3

“Now make a collage from bits cut from magazines and printouts. Let the texture of a tree be the fur for example. Have fun introducing surreal elements. Deliberately distort. How far can you bend reality?

For this I created a base using as many lines as I needed, and then I proceeded to collect the pictures I would use for the collage:

Then I photoshopped them into the different parts of my cat (with two different background colors):

I really liked the intenseness of this image and how the background makes it even more powerful. I am really happy that I choose pictures that worked well together.

Brief #4

“Produce a drawn version (not a tracing) of your collage. When drawing, edit and select from the collage being aware of the properties you want to create a strong character. Review the distorted version and decide how you can refine the image.

I wanted this drawing to still have the essence of the previous collage because I liked how the composition and elements worked together.

“This image can now be incorporated into a bigger image. Use your imagination and introduce at least one other element that introduces a narrative. Be creative but consistent in the development and rendering of this additional content.

Since this image looks really powerful yet scary I decided to embrace that at the fullest and create a surreal content. I used the following images to create the narrative:

The final image with the first illustration:

The final image with the second illustration:

I decided to add some lightning bolts as if she had super powers:


I really like how my last piece turned out, it reminds me of a kind of Pokemon. I love how powerful she looks. I am really happy that I choose this photograph of my cat because I think that without her yawning I would have done a completely different work. In this exercise I learned how you can use a totally “random” image to a create a specific narrative. I would have never thought it’d be using pieces from a machine or smoke to draw a cat, but I am glad I did.

Exercise 26: A tattoo


A friend has asked you to design a tattoo for them based on the word Mum. He would also like you to make it into a greeting card that he can send his mother.

I was really pleased when I saw what this exercise was about, I actually love tattoos and have a couple of them myself. I have watched and researched a lot of tattoo artists. One of my favourite is called “m3.ink”. Some of her work:

These are some other tattoos from other artists that I really like as well:

As you can probably tel by these pictures, I like a very certain style of tattoos: very thin, simple and clean. Which is the way I decided to create the tattoos for this exercise.

But before I started to illustrate my ideas I thought about what mother means to me and how I could represent it in a tattoo.

Some key words:

  • Love
  • Life
  • Selfless
  • Sacrifice
  • Learn
  • Help
  • Together
  • Unbreakable
  • Bond

Then I came up with the concept that a daughter/son and a mother have a connection and bond that only them can understand and form part of, and I thought that two flowers could represent that. Because one is growing from the other, and the bigger one (mother) is looking over the smaller flower (kid):

I also decided to draw a kind of pansy flower, which represent how we will always have in our mind and in our hearts our loved ones.

Then I made another version of this illustration with the word mom on it:

Then I created a simple but very cute one:

Then I decided to do a version of the word mom but as a heart beat line:

Finally, I created a very minimalist illustration of two stars that represent how the bond that a mother and their child have will go on forever:

Then I photoshopped two favourite tattoos where I would tattoo them:

The 1st one:

The 2nd one:


This exercise is one of the favourites ones that I have done so far, I really like thinking about tattoo ideas. My favourite part is the process of fully representing a concept like “mother” into a tattoo. I am really proud of the two final tattoos that I created and the storyline behind them both.

Exercise 25: A menu card


For this exercise, you are asked to provide an illustration for use on the menu of a
sophisticated, quality fish restaurant – one in a chain sited in major European cities.

I started this exercise by drawing a rough sketch of my fist idea:

It was a wave that represented where the food comes from, given the fact that it’s a fish restaurant. But I didn’t like the idea or how I executed it. What I did like was the name I choose: “Sabor a mar”. Which means “Flavour of the sea” in Spanish, I thought it was appropriate because it was an European restaurant.

Then I proceeded to try another illustration:

I played with the composition of the illustration until I got something that I liked, then I added some different type of splashes, colours, and added where the name would go:

Then I did my final two illustrations:

I decided to create this illustration because I thought the a simple and clean drawing would represent better the sophisticated restaurant, like the brief asks. But I still wanted to represent what the restaurant is about, therefore I decided to create a water drop which stands for the sea.

And then I added the tittle:

I experimented with different types of fonts, colours and letter placement, but I found this type of letter to work the best. It looks professional, clean, simple yet elegant. But, in the white image you can’t really see the name therefore my final restaurant menu card would be this:


In this exercise I learned how the small changes of the letter font, colour, and composition of the illustration can affect how a product or brand is represented and view by its potential clients. I overall really enjoyed creating this menu illustration. And I am really proud of the final illustration, I think it looks really professional and sophisticated.

Exercise 24: A children’s book cover


You are asked to produce a cover illustration for a natural history book for children (age 7–11) entitled Animals from Around the World. The image is to be used as a full-colour front jacket to encourage children to choose this book from the library shelf.

To get an idea of the illustration I wanted to create a did some research of book covers about animals:

Then I started illustrating my first book cover:

Adding the title:

This is the first book cover I created and the least of my favourites, it too simple for my liking and I didn’t work on it hard enough. Although I liked the idea of the compilation of the images, I wasn’t totally pleased with the final result. But the images I chose, I made sure that they were some very rare and colourful animals to try to make it as interesting as possible and to incise the possible readers to pick up the book.

Second book cover:

Adding the title:

After finishing the first book cover I wanted to create something completely different: very colourful, detailed, and time consuming. I am really pleased with this final book cover, I think it is very loud and represents all the interesting creatures that would be inside this book. I also enjoy how the lettering matches the colours of the animal, I think it gives it a final touch to tie it all together.

Third book cover:

Adding the title:

This last cover is my favourite by far, I really enjoy the colour palette, the concept, the lettering, and the overall illustration. I am really happy with how it came out. I really like the fact that the two main key words (animals and world) are represented in the illustration. I also enjoy the outer space details, I think it gives it a nice exciting and creative touch.


In this exercise my skills and concept idea development improved by every book cover. In a way, I am happy I did the first book cover, even though I’m not 100% proud of it, because it helped me create the second an most importantly third book cover. I really enjoyed this exercise and I learned that you can always improve and develop your ideas until you are 100% satisfied with the end result.

The three book covers:

Exercise 23: Museum posters


You have been asked to produce three illustrations be used as part of a series of A3 posters to publicise the museum to the following audiences:

  • Child aged 5-9
  • Teenager 13-16
  • General adult audience

“Select one object for each of the audiences and create an image centred around that object in a way which you think best presents it to your market.

For this exercise I decided to use the same type of museum for the three group of ages, to further challenge myself and see what different concepts I could come up with referring to the same type of museum: A dinosaur museum.

Poster for Child aged 5-9

For the first poster I decided to promote a fun activity for children that involved candy and getting to know the museum. I thought it could be a fun and effective idea for two companies/businesses to collaborate and join their clients.

Illustration I created:

Making it look like a poster:

For this illustration I decided to use a friendly and calm looking dinosaur so the kids would actually want to attend, I also tried to take into consideration the timing and days of the event for their parents convenience. I really liked how this illustration cam out, I think it does a good job at representing the event. At the same time, I think I could have used more colourful colours to attract the attention of the possible clients.

Poster for Teenager 13-16

For this poster I decided to create another activity that I thought I would have enjoyed at that age, that is a treasure hunting in the museum (and you get to keep the prizes you find).

Illustration I created:

Making it look like a poster:

I think that the type of font and colours for this poster tied the whole thing together and made it more exciting and realistic. This is my favourite poster out of the three, I am really happy with the result. I think that placing the present in the dinosaur’s mouth was a great idea. And like the first poster, I tried to use a dinosaur that fit the theme and age group, I choose a dangerous and bigger dinosaurs because I thought that that would appeal to a older audience.

Poster for general adult audience

Finally, this age group was the hardest to create an activity for. But after much consideration I decided to adress a really common thing that most adults search to find: Love. Therefore, I created an event where you take a survey (a few days before the event) and then when you get there you get assigned a number on a sticker with your name tag, and your partner will have a matching one. Everybody has a perfect match according to the questions that they previously answered online. It is the perfect way to meet someone new in a non conventional way, yet exciting and knowing that everyone in that room is going through the same.

The illustration I created:

Making it look like a poser:

For this illustration I decided to make it really simple and colourful so it could deliver a clear message. I made the tittle really big and changed the colour for “perfect match” so it would be more eye catching for those who are interested. I really enjoy how this last poster came out, and I am really proud of the concept I created. I also like the balance between the really simple illustration and all the text.


I really enjoyed this exercise, I dedicated a lot of time and thought to the concept and illustration of each and every poster. I am pleased with how they came out. At the same time, this was my first time creating a digital poster and I decided to try a new app called “Adobe illustratior” which I really enjoyed and will continue to use in the future.

All three posters:

Exercise 22: Identifying tools and materials

Brief Pt1:

“Find a range of illustrators who use a particular medium. You may focus on the traditional such as pencil, watercolour, paint, gouache, coloured pencils, oil or acrylic paint, coloured pencils, collage, prints or on the more obviously digital processes – including digital collage, photography, digital drawing and painting”.

For this exercise, I have chosen three current digital artists:

 Ariabba         Jimena Reno              Eva Singer

Brief Pt2:

“Catalogue the illustrators according to similarities in the way that they use tools and materials. How do they distort or exaggerate the representation of elements in their work? How do they communicate through the use of metaphor or symbols?”.

Below I have compiled several works by each artist:

Ariabba is a UK based artist born in1986. Furthermore, she works using Procreate, a digital illustrating app, which I happen to also use. Her work is very fantasy inspired and she usually has a very full canvas with many details that compose the final image. She also works the gaming industry, therefore she is extremely familiar with the digital creative world. What I enjoy most of her art is the capability that it has to make you feel magical, as if you were in another galaxy where everything is possible. When I want to paint something “out of this world” I usually tend to visit her page to find inspiration.

Jimena Reno is a Spanish artist born in Madrid but now based in L.A., she is 25 years old. She studied “Bellas artes” in Spain where she developed her own particular style. She always works with oil based paint, I was able to find some pictures of the process of her working on a big art piece (see above). She has a YouTube channel where she talks about her techniques and teaches other learning artists how to use oil based paint. I started using this kind of technique and materials due to her, and I found her videos extremily helpful. When I don’t know how to achieve a certain idea or technique with oil paint, I always use her videos to learn. Finally, as we can appreciate in these pictures, she usually uses the same color palette and her signature color is pink.

Eva Singer is a smaller German artist that is currently 29 years old. Her style is very persistent and unique, her pieces are sketches always done with pencil (not digitally), and she uses fine lines to create her artwork. What I enjoy most about her art is that she can make a very simple and light sketch look so real and add personality to it. She usually draws women and sometimes self portraits (like the first image).

Brief Pt3:

“Choose one image which you most appreciate visually. In your learning log write about the way that the illustrator works. It often helps to begin by describing a picture. Ask yourself questions as you write such as: How is the image composed? How are colour, tone, and textures used to evoke a mood or convey an idea? Has the illustrator distorted the content within the imagery and how does this work for the purpose the image fulfils?”

I have chosen an image by Eva Singer:

I choose this image because I liked the way she coloured in the pants and hair, I have seen artists use this technique (shading with lines) but I have never seen it done like this. I really enjoy the prediction and different coloured lines that she did. I think it is a very detailed and complicated drawing yet she made it look so effortless and easy. I also enjoy the feeling that this illustration gives me, a very much calm and happy feeling. I also enjoy how she left the flowers almost unfitted, I think it gives a touch of light and freshness to the drawing.

After examining the illustration to the detail, I also noticed that the position that she drew her character in is a very complicated position. Yet she got the proportions and composition perfectly. She is an artist that I look up to for realism, precision, yet a touch of casualness in her artwork. I don’t know how else to explain it. I also really like that she is super consistent with her style, she never uses anything that is not a pencil or she uses colours, even though sometimes she’ll create a sketch in a red pencil that is the most variation you will see in her page.

I am a big fan and will try my best to recreate her style.

Brief Pt4:

“Go back to a visual you created for an earlier exercise and now render it using the same tools and materials as your chosen artist”.

I choose an illustration that I did for exercise 2 that looks nothing like the illustration from Eva Singer:

When I was trying to draw this piece in Eva Singer’s style, I realised that I had to transform this detailed and busy illustration into a almost sketch. And here is the process:

The final illustration:

Brief Pt5:

“Now choose a very different artwork and repeat the process”.

This time I choose an illustration I did for assignment 1, it is a completely different artwork:

The process of illustration:

The final illustration:


I found this exercise really challenging, because I could not find a way to recreate my drawing exactly like Eva Singer’s style. But I think I got pretty close, I actually really enjoyed the process and the comparisons I had to do in order to create these illustrations. I tried my best to create the shadows using the lines that she uses to create the same effect.

Finally, I think it is a really interesting exercise to do if you are trying to find new ways to make art and experiment with different styles in order to learn something new.

Assignment 3: A poster


“To design an illustration for a poster for a music event. An Early Music concert, a Jazz evening or for a pop group. You can choose. The finished poster will be reproduced at A3 size, but you can work at the size, in proportion, that you feel most comfortable with. You will need to provide your working drawings – the thumbnails and visuals – with the finished piece. The poster will include the title of the event, the date, time, place and any other information you think appropriate. You can either include this in your artwork or indicate where it will be positioned”.

“Start by brainstorming and create a mood board. Produce a range of alternative thumbnails in which you consider viewpoints and various arrangements of the content you have selected”.

I decided to create a poster for a solo song writer, she’s called “Sabrina Claudio”. This is the spider diagram I made to get an idea of how I wanted the poster to look like:

Then I decided to create a mood board of some of the ideas I had in mind:

I wanted to create illustrations with a lot of powerful feminine energy. And I also wanted to create some kind of contrast between a really girly concept (flowers and pink for example) and a strong female silhouette. I thought this would be appropriate because the singer stands for these ideas, she is a really powerful and independent woman. Who almost every song she sings is about calling out a man who mistreated her.

At the same time, I also wanted the illustration to have a sensual feeling because it’s what her music makes me (and the people I have asked) feel. That is why I added the red lips, the long hair, and some of the postures of the black silhouette.

Then I produced 3 possible illustrations:


In this illustration, her face represents her strong and unique personality with an intimidating look. But the flowers that are coming from inside her represent her softer side and all of the emotions that she lets us see in her music. Finally, I decided to really accentuate her latin features, because it is a big part of her identity.


In this second sketch, I decided to continue with the idea of the flowers but illustrating her whole body. I made her stand in this pose because it gives off strong and sensual feelings, almost like a goddess. I really liked that I used only flowers to cover her body, I assumed that if it was going to be on a poster and promoted in certain places where they might not be comfortable with nudity. But this way it gives the same effect but in a more artistic way.


Finally, for this last sketch, I decided to draw her in a different position and play with where the title could be at. I thought that this was a more unique idea but still representing her identity as a singer.

Then I was then asked to choose two compositions that I liked the best and create line visuals for both.

Therefore, I decided to develop the second and third sketches, this is the process of sketch #2:

Then I decided to create the final piece with different backgrounds options (and the last one with a glowing effect). As if this was real, and this way I could get the artist opinion on them:

On the other hand, is the process of the third sketch:

And then I did I the final piece with different colored options:

The two final pieces are the following:

I decided to choose this background color because I felt like it complemented the flowers and her skin tone the best. And it allowed me to make the concert information this pale color. I am really pleased with the fonts that I chose for this album cover, I think that the title is eye catching and that it flows really well with the shapes of her hair. I am also really happy that I managed to make her eyes and mouth stand out to give that sensual yet fear look.

This illustration, I decided to make it monochrome to furthermore differentiate it from the previous one, and have to completely different options. I like how minimalist this one is and I am really pleased with the title placement. I think it accentuates her curves and is very unique. I also like the saddle yet dementional shadow that I added, and how I choose the version where her silhouette is a lighter color that the background.


When creating this assignment, I made sure to have in mind all of the concepts and tools that the other exercises from this part made me learn. And to incorporate this knowledge in order to create a piece that had my full capacity and art skills. For example, I used 3 different viewpoints to choose from (exercise 19), I made sure that the illustration had a story and represented the singers ideologies (exercise 15), I also had in mind how music can influence the way you create something (exercise 17) that’s why I listened to her albums while illustrating this, and finally I made sure to really showcase the development of the illustrations I created (exercise 16).

More specifically, in this exercise I learned how to research the “client’s” style and personality and really take it into consideration to create a final piece that would not only suit them but also represent them and make promotion of their event. I really enjoyed the process of creating the final pieces and adding the trame and information to really make it look like a real poster. Finally, I would also like to say that the first final illustration (the coloured one) is by far my favourite one.

Exercise 21: Making a mock-up


“For this exercise, you are going to mock-up a book cover. From your bookshelves or the library choose a book title that appeals to you. Read the blurb on the back of the book (or the whole book if you have time). Examine the design of the cover to identify what the brief would be for the illustration and establish the function you want your image to perform. 

You may already have done an illustration you can use or you may be inspired to make a new one. If you are using one you have already done you may need to modify it in some way. You may need to play with the colours, edit or adjust the composition or alter the size or scale. Don’t make changes to the original.

Either copying the design of the cover and adding your illustration or designing the cover from scratch, make sure that you incorporate the title, author and publisher’s details.”

I choose a book called “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate” written by Jacqueline Kelly that I read a while a go.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is a 2009 award-winning historical young adult novel and was the recipient of a 2010 Newbery Honor Award by Jacqueline Kelly. It is the story of a young girl growing up in Texas. And the original book cover looks like this:

For this exercise I decided to create the illustration using regular pencil and paper. I also knew that I wanted to illustrate the face of Calpurnia. I also wanted the image to have a personal yet freeing feeling which is what I remembered the book made me feel like.

First, I made a quick sketch to see the composition I liked and then proceeded to finish the drawing.

I choose the second drawing because I liked the more artistic feel that the extra hands gave it. Then I finished painting this illustration using an HB pencil:

Then I scanned the drawing and transferred it to a virtual canvas, to add some final details, color and the title.

I decided to add some color and match it to the tittle of the book. I added it to the tip of her fingers and to her checks to represent her youth, the story is about how she is a young girl growing up.

Furthermore, I stayed in a neutral color toned palette because I thought that it represented the book better and the personality of Calpurnia.


I am really happy with the final result of this exercise, I am curious to know what the author might think of this illustration. I really enjoyed this process, I enjoyed the freedom that the brief game me.

Exercise 20: Client visuals


“From the work you have collected pick at least two finished illustrations. These illustrations should contain a range of content. They can be representational, diagrammatic or metaphorical.”

My two chosen illustrations:

illustration #1 from the movie “Spirited away”
illustration # by Kin Kaos


“Measure the image at the size it was reproduced. Draw a box at least two and half times larger and in proportion to each of the printed illustrations. Using a form of line which feels comfortable and which you can confidently manage, create a visual for each illustration. You are not tracing from the original nor are you claiming this artwork as your own. Be aware of main shapes and directions; draw the elements of the image with sufficient detail for them to be readable.”

My visual work for both illustrations:



“Explore how many lines you need to use to describe the content. Try another version of the same image and see how much content you can remove so that the image is distilled to an extremely edited form but still makes sense.”

Stripped down versions of previous visuals:



In this exercise I learned the potential that a simple sketch can have, and the process that takes place in order to obtain a final and perfected illustration. I really enjoyed trying to follow the artists steps (in reverse) and learning from them: