Sketching is a hugely important part of the illustrator’s creative process, functioning as a way to experiment, express thoughts and ideas on the page, and to refine and distill ideas to a stage where they can be developed further.

Featuring a range of sketches, from a very first pencil sketch, to digital drawings, explore how illustrators take the seed of an idea, and use their sketches as a way to grow it into a final project.

Bart D’Angelo: One Hundred Years of Solitude

See inside Bart’s sketchbook, using a range of techniques to develop his illustrations.

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Nathalie Lees: The Testaments

Nathalie’s creative process and thinking can be clearly seen in these first thumbnail sketches..

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Patti Ruan: Fight With Love

Digital sketches show Patti’s experimental approach to creating her illustration.

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Lucia Vinti: Van Gogh and Britain For Families

Lucia’s initial sketches experimenting with colour and layout, that were later incorporated into a printed gallery guide.

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Jan Robert Duennweller: Rimowa – travel with purpose

Jan’s first sketches (top row) evolved into the final rough (below), in a composition that is very close tot he final artwork.

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Rosie Leech: The Distance of the Moon

Rosie’s detailed storyboards and sketches for her riso printed graphic novel.

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Minhee Kim: Book Cover Re-design for Goodnight Mister Tom

Experimental sketches for a book cover design, exploring the motifs and typography to be used.

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Ding Ding: The Rubik’s Cube Building

Ding Ding’s incredibly detailed sketches play with perspective and composition, before being worked into the final pieces.

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Anna Vasilyeva: The Cosmic Bookstore

Anna’s sketches are an exploration of formto create her abstract layered illustrations.

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Jonny Glover: Mural for The Coborn Centre for Adolescent Mental Health

Jonny Glover’s mural is created by sketching, then hand drawing onto the wall, and finally painted in situ, in collaboration with staff and residents.

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Naomi Ann Clarke: Bristol Short Story Prize

Naomi’s initial sketch is presented next to the final cover artwork.

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Simo Liu: Micromanagement

From top left: initial idea, to refined sketch, top right, to the final illustration.

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Nicholas Cheng: Organic Space

Pencil sketches that were developed into the final digital artwork.

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Fernando Cobelo: Zanichelli’s 2020 dictionaries

Fernando’s sketches shown in the correct placement for a wraparound cover.

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