Key Steps in Illustration: Image Development, Pt. 1

This exercise asked to develop an image based from one image, e.g. from a magazine, and work out new images with L-shapes. I did this digitally due to the lack of a printer, and worked on a travel scene I found from a picnic with my dance club last summer. We were doing a video, so we all had sailor outfits, which I thought  was quite a nice touch. Based on the original file, I found 10 different scenes that would make individual images. I tried to crop different situations that happened in the image, sometimes focusing on the people in front, sometimes. I added one word to describe each scene.

kat-illustrates-image-development (1)

I decided to go for the option “Together” and develop a illustration that could then be turned into a poster.

kat-illustrates-image-development (15)

When working on the photo and the inital sketches of several figures, I was reminded me of the picnic scenes from artists like Monet, Manet or others. See top 10 picnic scenes in Art here. I felt the photo was a modern-day interpretation of Monet’s Luncheon on the Grass or Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe or Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party, which also feature several scences within the scence.

Some sketches to develop an illustration based on this image:

I then decided to work on an ink illustration. See the different stages when developing the ink drawing below:

I edited the illustration slightly with Photoshop (mainly just increasing the contrast and adjusting white balance).

group picnic, ink illustration
Together – Ink illustration as part of the Image Development exercise

I then happened to come across OCA’s video where some of the tutors and assessors comment on students work. See video here.

I found it very interesting to understand what aspects might be important when looking at both my work and the work of others. One thing that I took away from this video is that you shouldn’t always go with the first idea that is in your head. You should rather develop different ideas, and if you then feel your first idea is still the best, work on it. I think that is one thing I tend to do, at least I’ve noticed it sometimes when working on the course exercises. I get an idea in my head, and cannot think of anything else because my mind is fixed on this one  idea. I then work on it, perhaps to quickly, and quite frequently, I’m not very happy with the result.

The above illustration is actually a good example. I thought I had “my result” for this exercise, but when I ended up working on the ink illustration, I did not particularly like how it came out. I find it quite uninspired, and boring too look at. It also does not look finished in a way. The only think I like is the limited colour scheme.

While I still like the idea of illustrating the group picnic scene – especially because it would be referencing art history, I decided to take a step back. I want to go back and look at other areas of the photograph again, work on a few more sketches and ideas, and perhaps end up with something compeletly different than initally expected.


Open College of the Arts. “Christian Lloyd, Paul Stickley & James Pyman – Brian O’Caroll, Harry Kidd & Lina Home”. Published in Jan 2018. [Accessed on Jan 28, 2017].URL

The Guardian. “The top 10 picnics in art” by Jonathan Jones. [Accessed on Jan 28, 2018]. URL

Musée d’Orsay. “Claude Monet – Luncheon on the Grass.” [Accessed on Jan 28, 2018]. URL

Wikipedia. “Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe”. [Accessed on Jan 28, 2018]. URL

Wikipedia. “Luncheon of the Boating Party”. [Accessed on Jan 28, 2018]URL


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