Illustrating from sketch to final piece > disinfectants

There have been a couple of illustrations I made in the last 12 months I was particularly happy with. And if I put these all together, I can see there’s a similarity between them. The thing that stands out most is the use of color. When I get to pick my favorite colors, I’m a happy girl.

You can’t illustrate everything in the same color scheme, can you? Well, maybe you can, but I – and my clients – would probably get a bit bored with me. It would be great for my Instagram feed by the way. But every now and then I allow myself to use my favorite colors. This palette usually has an ocean greenish blue, a warm pink and some darker colors for support like bordeaux red of deep dark blue.

Each row show the main colors I used for a specific project. You can see the pattern…

The second thing is the texture of the illustration. I often use the same brush, like the one you see in the color scheme above. I have two favorites for getting a nice textured look. The third thing my favorite illustrations have in common is the use of geometric shapes to simplify things. A little more abstract and a little less realistic. Straight lines and perfect circles combined with looser lines and shapes. I guess I found my style.

In the same order as the palettes above, my favorite illustrations // illustrations by Annemarie Gorissen

The one I want to show you today is my most recent one. It’s the top one in the image above. I got to illustrate for the Consumentenbond in their magazine Gezondgids. It was about wound disinfectants. Sounds like you can draw some nasty things. But I decided to go for the wide variety of disinfectants – since the article was sort of a list with pros and cons for different types and brands.

The sketch came pretty quickly, knowing that I had some work to do when it came to designing all the bottle packaging, lettering and all. I ended up drawing a total of 16 different bottles, tubes and jars. I first drew a quick sketch on the prints I made and then refined those to send to the client for approval. The sketch was approved and I could start picking my color palette and designing the bottles.

The first rough pencil sketches I made for myself
This is what I showed the client. Nothing too polished, just to show what I have in mind.

As you can see above, I started drawing on the prints I made of the article. I added extra details in the next sketches to send to the client. I do like the feel of the ‘real sketches’ better, though. But there’s usually no time – and no need – for pretty sketches. It’s functional. I integrated the headline of the article in my illustration. That gives the designers a lot less room to play, so they have to agree in advance. But it also makes the production really one piece, combining image and text.

I work on top of my sketches, but I only use it as a reference. In this case there was no need to refine the sketches any further. I just made it up as I went along. I mixed bottles and tubes to balance things out a bit better than in my sketch // illustration by Annemarie Gorissen
Fun fact: I used around 250 layers to create this illustration.
There are only 44 visible in the final illustration // illustration by Annemarie Gorissen
For the second spread I didn’t really need my sketches at all, I reused some elements
and added some new ones. I had already received the layout, so I could work around
the text blocks here.
detail of the main illustration // illustration by Annemarie Gorissen
Detail #2 // illustration by Annemarie Gorissen
auch // illustration by Annemarie Gorissen
Detail of the next spread, without the text // illustration by Annemarie Gorissen

I just found the print version on my doormat and it turned out great!

The printed version in Gezondgids // photo & illustration by Annemarie Gorissen
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