Process of Dublin City Illustration

Process of Dublin City Illustration

With the new Dublin city illustration, let me show you the process I use to create original illustrations and cards.

The hardest part is always deciding what to draw. Once the inspiration is clear, I start sketching with a pencil until I am happy with the composition and overall design. 

Only then, I move on to tracing the sketch with a black fine liner. I use a 0.7 mm thickness for my main lines but I use smaller and thicker pens depending on the details I am tracing.

When the pen lines are dry, I grab an eraser and remove all pencil lines. This is a very satisfying part of the process maybe because it gets messy with loads of eraser bits everywhere!

When using a reference photo, as I did for this particular illustration, the image indicates the colours you will use. I have about 85 markers at the moment, so I do not have all colours under the rainbow plus some colours are almost empty 😱 from all the colouring I've been doing.

Some colours I end up mixing, for example, I used orange and different brown underlying tones to get different red brick looks on the buildings.

I love when the image is just black a white with the pen lines, it's just so elegant. However, as soon as I start adding colour the image comes to live! What do you prefer?

Here you can compare the reference photo with the final illustration!

The photo I took a long time ago from Dublin. It is an unusual view with beautiful coloured buildings and high contrast. 


Do you like the finished art? I absolutely love it!

Did you spot the swans? I added them in because there are so many all around Dublin and they always make me think of the legend "Children of Lir".

Update: Choosing a frame

Thank you for all your comments on Instagram and Facebook to choose the frame colour for this artwork. Here are the 2 options again:

And the winner is... 🥁🥁🥁 ... the black frame. Here are the results:

Frame votes

And Tada... here it is: