How to Illustrate a Magazine cover

This is the first cover I've illustrated. it was commissioned by California Real Estate Magazine for their October 2017 issue.

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The Process

The process always begins with a sketch design phase. This is where you layout your ideas in a simple sketch format and send them to the client for approval. This project took 5 rounds of sketch design before I was approved to move on to the detailed design phase.

Sketch design

Detailed Design

The transition between sketch design and detailed design begins in Adobe Illustrator. This is where I use the pen tool to vectorise my illustration by tracing over the sketch refining the lines and shapes. The major benefit of creating a vector graphic means that you don't lose quality no mater what size the image is scaled to. It can be as large as a billboard or as small as a postage stamp. It really doesn't matter.

Colour Texture and Light

Once I have completed the trace I use the live paint tool to colour the image. I love experimenting with colour sets and this is the perfect place to do it. Once I have the colours filled in its Time for Photoshop, and this is where the magic happens! I add all my textures and lighting here. My favourite resource at the moment for adding beautiful speckled texture are the Kyle T Webster brushes. Try them out they are amazing 

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Get in touch

If you are an illustrator and have any questions on how to illustrate a magazine cover or if you are an Art Director and you would like to work with me please contact me here