For this piece, entitled “Botanic Bride”, I considered the themes of both spring and weddings and
wanted to create an image that evoked the scenery of theatre performances as well as baroque
paintings. The piece depicts a bride wandering through a space surrounded by nature from which
the viewer is open to interpret her thoughts. Is she taking in the wondrous natural scenery in awe
of what is to be the happiest day of her life or is she perhaps pondering her future and somewhat
developing a sense of cold feet?
Step 1: I started sketching out the initial drawing as a very rough sketch using the Non-Photo Blue
Pencil. This enables me to quickly get ideas and structures laid out.
Step 2: Once the sketch is complete, I move on to finalising the structure by drawing over the non-photo blue pencil sketch with a lead pencil. During this stage, I can add and refine the outlines of
the structures and place in more detailing to the general image. I use two different kinds of lead
pencils, a thick lead to point out the outline structures of the content within the image and a thin
lead to incorporate the detailing.
Step 3: Once i have gone over the sketch, i then have a finalised pencil version of the drawing from
which i can now trace over with ink based materials. My work and the process behind what I do, is
heavily inspired by comic book artists. So to be safe, I tend to use a lightbox to trace over my
original pencil drawing.
Step 4: I then move on to inking, I use a few different materials when it comes to inking. I begin
with the outlines, using a selection of ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka pens. Depending on the layout/
structure of the image, i will select specific sizes of fine liners. Consider the distance between the
elements you are drawing, the closer something is to you the thicker the outline should be and the
further away an element is from you, the thinner the line will be. This really helps to produce
perspectives in your work.
Once a subject is outlined with the fine liners i move on to work on shading, using the ZIG
Cartoonist Brush Pen No. 22. After the darkest parts of the image are heavily shaded with ink i
revert back to the fine liners and use a method of shading called cross-hatching to create textures.
I emphasise textures by also plotting out the tip of the ink brush as well, i will also use the ZIG
Cartoonist Pen Nib G-Pen alongside some Zig Cartoonist Black Ink 60 to focus on detailed areas.
Step 5: As with any drawing, you are likely to make mistakes. I sometimes tend to over do it with
ink brushes so some areas come out much too dark. To correct this i use a white ink marker to
overlap the affected area. Once the white ink dries up, I then go over my mistakes with the fine
liners. These rectification can sometimes add an emphasis on textures as well, such as on hair for
Step 6: Once the image is completed with pen & ink, It is now time to add color. I like to work with
spot color so it is important to either stick to single color or a small range of colors to highlight
some of the elements within the illustration. For this piece, I used the ZIG Clean Color Real Brush
in the Carmine Red color, to color in and bring out the flowers. This emphasises the sense of
nature scattered throughout the scenery.
Step 7: Et Voilà! I present with the finished piece that i have titled “Botanic Bride”. Hope you enjoy
- Non-Photo Blue Pencil from Caran d’Ache
- 0.3 Lead Pencil from Staedtler
- Mars Technico Lead Pencil from Staedler
- ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka 01, 05, 08
- ZIG Cartoonist Black Ink 60
- ZIG Cartoonist Pen Nib G-Pen + Nib Holder
- ZIG Cartoonist Brush Pen No. 22
- ZIG Clean Color Real Brush [Black + Carmine Red]