Illustration

Digital rain

This illustration was inspired by an old French photograph of a young nurse in Hôtel Dieu.

What is an illustration and why would you illustrate?

Well, I decided to look up both ‘illustrate’ in the online Cambridge dictionary and ‘illustration’ in the visual thesaurus …. Here is what I found:

To illustrate:

  1. v. (EXPLAIN) to show the meaning or truth of something more clearly, especially by giving examples
  2. v. (PICTURES) to draw pictures for a book, magazine, etc.

Visual thesaurus, words associated with 'illustration'

So, the simplest definition for illustration is to explain through pictures. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, it’s a very efficient way to explain an idea or to tell a story. Here are some great portfolios of illustrations, to illustrate illustration. 😉

These illustrations were created first by drawing, and then painted digitally, in most cases. Talent goes a long way here …

The scientific and medical illustration field is highly specialized, but Bryan Christie is quite simply the best! – Incredible!

To learn how to create vector illustrations using Adobe Illustrator, try your hand at these online tutorials.

For those who aren’t skilled at drawing, try playing with Illustrator’s ‘live trace’ or ‘live paint’ functions!

Or if you need a professional illustration, and haven’t got the time to learn yourself … you can always hire an illustrator from this Directory of Illustrators.

But, for a more playful take on illustration … Here’s a personal favourite of mine: Sam Brown’s explodingdog.com –I love this guy! 🙂

And of course, the iSpot is a great resource for all things illustration! –Enjoy!

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  1. You chose some nice websites to “illustrate illustration”, and the tutorials at Adobe are actually great!

    But, here is the thing: don’t use “live trace” at illustrator, because it’s not a rigorous tool. The program works with points and, with “live trace”, it will build things with a massive and unnecessary amount of points, instead of just using the few ones that are, actually, needed.

    I honestly hope this was a helpful comment! 😉

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