Illustration

Illustration Tutorial: Exercises to Stimulate Your Creativity

Learn these techniques to unblock your creativity and release your hand, with Weberson Santiago

Creativity is a simple process. Although it can take a lot of work to achieve great solutions, it’s an easy art form to practice.

In Illustration, it helps to have a wide range of references and influences. An illustrator defines their style using lines, colors and sensations that grab everyone’s attention.

Weberson Santiago is a creativity specialist.

Illustrator, writer and teacher, Weberson Santiago (@webersonsantiago) is a creativity expert. He’s published numerous books and his clients include: Brazil’s Veja magazine and Folha de S. Paulo newspaper. He also writes children’s books and works in journalism, in addition to illustrating books and magazines for a range of Brazilian and Portuguese publishers.

In this tutorial, Weberson teaches you a few techniques that allow you to give free rein to your creativity and loosen up for illustration. Don’t miss his video!

Have you ever looked down at a piece of paper and thought “What should I draw, now?“ Creative block affects illustrators, musicians and painters as well as writers, photographers and any other creative professional.

But it’s easy to solve what may seem like an endless and extremely frustrating problem with a few creative exercises that allow you to create new opportunities and free up your creative processes.

Create ink stains

Randomly create ink spots on a piece of paper or any other medium. It’s best to look the other way as you make your marks, to ensure your usual brushstrokes don’t interfere.

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Randomly make an ink spot on your chosen medium.

The challenge lies in trying to find a figure in the silhouettes made by your ink. Let your imagination fly!

You might find an animal, a face, someone dancing... the aim of the exercise is to give you a starting point from which to create by playing with the beauty of chance.

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Try to find a figure in your ink.

Each time you do this exercise, you will discover a completely different figure from those you normally create.

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Use your favorite techniques and materials.

Create stamps

Using stamps of simple geometric shapes is a great way to create fun, entertaining and unusual characters or figures.

You can create rubber stamps out of things you can find at home: the tops from soft drinks, packaging and even olive oil containers.

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Create rubber stamps using things you can find at home: the tops from soft drinks, packaging and even olive oil containers

Experiment with these shapes to create new stamps and discover new effects created by the ink.

Then go further by using other techniques to give your illustration a personal touch. Pens, stickers, collage... anything goes!

Start these exercises without knowing where you’re going, the aim is to just experiment and create something completely new and different from what you generally work on.

Use masking tape

Masking tape is an incredibly versatile material you can use to outline spaces and shapes or to define the area where you’re going to work.

Create a simple design and then mark out an area with tape. This technique helps stop paint straying and creates straight lines and other geometric shapes.

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Use masking tape to outline spaces and shapes and to define where you’re going to paint, illustrate or stamp.

You can also use the tape to create patterns and effects, as in the following example.

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Create patterns and effects with masking tape.

These three simple exercises will help you overcome creative block, or advance your creative techniques at any time. Allow your imagination to fly, and above all, just experiment.

Love this tutorial? If you want to learn how to develop your own drawing style using observation to transform a blank page into a garden of ideas, don’t miss Weberson’s online course: Graphic Illustration Laboratory.

You may also like:

- Children’s Illustration Tutorial: How to Create Characters Using Collage
- What is Pop Art and How Did It Revolutionize the Art World?
- Illustrated Children’s Stories: Characters and Settings, a course by Giovana Medeiros
- Female Character Portraits in Procreate, a course by Natália Dias

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