Monday 3 December 2012

Illustrating with Michelle from Creature Type

Please all give a warm welcome to Michelle, who usually blogs at Creature Type about illustrationfashion and the things she gets up to in her life. I am honored to have Michelle here while I am away, especially because this is her first ever guest post, and she is writing it for my blog! High Five! 

Michelle is a graphic designer and showcases her cute illustrations on her blog and in her shop. For today, she is letting us have a peek at her creative process. You will see the end result is gorgeous!

So without further ado, over to this gal:

Hello, All The Live Long Day readers! My name is Michelle and I blog at Creature Type. I’m an illustrator, graphic designer, fashion enthusiast, and part time painting instructor from St. Louis, Missouri!

Annika has always been super sweet to me and when she asked if I’d like to guest post while she was away, I happily agreed! I thought I’d share a little making-of sneak peek for one of my illustrations.

My workspace set up is pretty modest right now and I’m always all about using modest tools. I love to sketch and do lineart with pens and ink and then digitally manipulate, so simple tools are perfectly fine to get the job done. The only thing I’m picky about is my beloved Japanese brush pens. I think they’re intended for watercolor use because you can fill them with water and use them to quickly work without constantly dipping--I love using them for ink!

I've been trying to make some cute, simple, winter and Christmas themed drawings lately for a holiday craft show next month, so that’s what this sketch is for! I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to draw, so I just made a straight forward pencil sketch in a sketchbook that has thick paper--perfect for inking in.

I draw my final lines in ink over my pencil sketch and erase them later. My style is usually to work quickly on pieces and hammer out my ideas. If they turn out badly, I prefer to just make a new version rather than toil away on a single image for too long.

I either scan or take a high resolution photo of my lineart, depending on how important it is to maintain the quality of the original image. Lately I've just been taking photos of my work because I mess with it digitally enough that I don’t need the super clarity of a scanned image initially.

I use my Wacom tablet and Adobe Photoshop to modify lineart, play with colors, etc. I complete images from sketch to final piece on Photoshop, too, but I find that I have an easier time sketching and have a steadier hand inking with pen and paper.

And here’s my final piece! :)

You can check out more of my work and follow my weekly/monthly illustration projects on Creature Type! Thanks for reading, everyone!

xo Michelle


  1. Eeep I absolutely love seeing art in process and the "behind the scenes" of other people's creations, so I love this post! What a great way to kick off your guest posts Annika! <3

  2. Thanks again for the opportunity to share this, Annika! I've been enjoying your guest posts. :)

  3. Oh my goodness! I love that little pug in the illustration! And, the whole thing is just perfect! hah! I want one now! :)

  4. This is so interesting! I guess I always assumed that digital artists did everything from start to finish in Photoshop. Now I know that's not always the case! Love the final product.

  5. It's SO awesome watching this piece come to life! What a kickass post! :D

  6. How lovely seeing the entire process. Fantabulous post lady xo


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