Drawing vs Illustration

I’ve talked about the difference between having talent and developing that talent into skills. It’s hard to divide the two clearly. A person could have a natural talent for something like color arrangement, while someone learns it as a skill. Both may be equally adept at it, and it would be hard for a person to know that just looking at the finished work.

Below are some drawings I did over the last few days.

The final art however, were these illustrations:

The drawing displays my talent. I have a natural talent for drawing. (which can be seen in some of the other figure drawing I’ve posted in the past).

The illustration (And there is a difference between drawing and illustration), shows the skills I’ve developed over the years. With drawing, it’s more of letting myself free to work and to see what happens. Many times when I’m drawing, I will be really loose, and see what lines or shapes come out, and then go back and hi-lite those lines and shapes that I find help create the image. Some of my favorite characters have come about this way.

But when I go to take it to an illustration, There is much more thought up front. I find that if I spend time thinking about the final illustration before starting it, I get much better results. Often I will do a tight pencil drawing in between sketching and illustrating. This gives me time to think about the different aspects, how to approach them, what’s the best way to achieve the results I want, and more details just start filtering in.

The tight pencils are a blend of using my talent and skills. I let myself the freedom to explore with the pencil, but I also keep in mind the composition, what colors I might want to use, and more.

By the time I moved into doing the final illustration, I would say I’m mostly in the skills side of things. It’s skill that lets me get the shading how I want it, the texture of surfaces, and more. Is there some talent there? Yes sure, but I would say it’s in the passenger seat instead of driving.

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