Tag Archives: Drawing

How to Illustrate 2 Simple, Popular Styles

How to Illustrate 2 Simple, Popular Styles

In this post there are two simple step-by-step tutorials of how to illustrate a cartoon style and a more realistic style…


Step 1 – Draw your sketch


Have some fun with this, if you get what you want on paper the first time then great but don’t be afraid to experiment.

You can exaggerate features when drawing in this style, notice how the positioning of the features in the sketch are normal but I have played around with the sizing. The eyes are massive but the nose and mouth are tiny, the face shape itself is angular with a very pointy chin.

Step 2 – Start to ink your sketch in Illustrator

Once you are happy with your sketch, transfer it into Illustrator, you will want to put the image on a locked layer which is set to ‘template’ with a transparency of 50%. You can name this layer ‘sketch’ if you want.

Screen shot 2013-12-19 at 10.06.25

This now means you can ink your sketch clearly on a layer above this one.

I started by drawing out the outline of the hair, and then started adding in the features, jawline and neck, all using the pen tool.

Screen shot 2013-12-19 at 10.29.14

The tapered effect was achieved by altering the ‘profile’ of the pen stroke within the stroke palette.

Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 14.21.15

Step 3 – Colour

Create a third layer inbetween your sketch layer and inked line layer.

Transfer the shapes you created from the line layer in order to colour block your picture.

Screen shot 2013-12-19 at 10.46.33

You can also trace under the lines you created by locking the line layer, this is how I drew the whites of the eyes and the purple colours of the mouth.

Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 14.28.58

Step 4 – Adding details

cartoon style

You can see here that I have added gradients, shadows and highlights in order to make the artwork not look so ‘flat’, you can really be creative here and use your imagination in order to create your cartoon character! All of these extra details were added on the 3rd layer.

‘Realistic’ Style

Step 1 – Choose your picture

For this style you can either draw your face as in the previous tutorial or use a photo. As long as you have the rights to the photo I would suggest this option as the end result is usually better.

Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 14.50.04

Step 2 – Illustrator

As in the cartoon tutorial, place your photo on a locked template layer with a transparency of 50%.

Step 3 – Inking

For this style, we are going to be using coloured lines as they give a softer, more realistic effect. The black lines work for the cartoon style as they make the image stand out or ‘pop’ off of the page, with this style you need to consider the skin tones, shadows and light a little more.

Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 15.45.34

It is easier to ink the drawing using a bright colour so you can see what you’re drawing, in this case I have used red as it really stands out.

Step 4 – Colour

Once you are happy with your lines you can turn them the correct colour and also create a third layer for you to start the main colour up.

It is a very similar process to the first style, its just a case of creating an image that is as close (as you want) to the original photo as possible.

Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 15.55.44

Step 5 – Adding details

At this stage, you can add a lot of nice detail. Again I have used gradients, shadows, feathering, transparencies and also blends to get a good skin tone and feathered effect with the hair.

Realistic_StyleWe hope that this has been an interesting and useful read!

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Posted by on December 19, 2013 in illustration news


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BBC Television Centre closed for business


BBC Television Centre has closed its doors after 53 years

With a design said to have been inspired by a question mark scribbled on the back of an envelope, BBC Television Centre is one of the UK’s most recognisable cultural landmarks. The site sold for £200m last year to be redeveloped into a hotel, flats, a cinema and office space. The three main television studios will be refitted and leased out to production companies, including the BBC, from 2014. The 14-acre site will also house the BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide.

Some of the best-known programmes on British television were recorded within its walls: Dad’s Army, Fawlty Towers, Top of the Pops, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The Two Ronnies, Blue Peter, classic era Doctor Who and Absolutely Fabulous to name but a few.

BBC Television Centre plans
The £200m development will see the forecourt opened up to the public

Designed by Graham Dawbarn, Television Centre was built in 1960 on the site of the Franco-British exhibition of 1908. Its distinctive circular main block – which housed the studios, dressing rooms and offices – was known to staff as the “doughnut”. The story goes that Dawbarn came up with idea in the pub after he drew the triangular shape of the building site on the back of an old envelope. Doodling a question mark in the middle, he realised it would make the perfect design.


  • Opened: 29 June 1960
  • Location: four miles west of central London on Wood Lane, Shepherd’s Bush
  • Architect Graham Dawbarn was inspired when he drew a triangle with a question mark in the middle
  • Its distinctive circular main block is affectionately known as the “doughnut”
  • The central sculpture, by T B Huxley-Jones, depicts Helios, the Greek god of the sun and represents the radiation of television light around the world
  • The two reclining figures at the bottom are Sound and Vision
  • The Forsyte Saga was the last major drama serial to be shot in black and white in 1967
  • The same year, Vanity Fair – starring Susan Hampshire – became the first drama series in colour
  • The House of Eliott in 1994 was the last major drama series to be shot at TVC
  • The building was damaged by a car bomb left outside in March 2001
  • The last network news bulletin went out from TV Centre on Sunday, 17 March 2013
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Posted by on March 25, 2013 in duck tales


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