Virginia Romo Illustration
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This is the blog where Virginia Romo posts her latest illustrations, projects and impressions.

"Kultur" step by step

The International Book Fair is taking place right these days in Frankfurt. This year I am not going but some of my drawings are.

Among them is this one I drew last year for the sketchbook initiative organized by the German professional organization for illustrators (Illustratoren Organisation e.V., short: IO).  They put five sketchbooks in circulation, each with a different theme ("Guidebook", "Sport", "Gossip & Tittle-Tattle", "Weather" and "Culture"), each illustrator who had signed up would receive the book from a colleague, draw something related to the theme and send it forward to the next illustrator. All in one week time. The IO will exhibit the sketchbooks in its booth at the Frankfurt Book Fair this week.

I chose the theme "Culture". Drawing in the beautiful sketchbook was a little intimidating; no undo button, just one page for each illustrator, no trial and error possible in the book, panic to destroy by mistake the work of the illustrators who had drawn before oneself and not knowing what would come after your own piece, so that you couldn't see the final piece your drawing was becoming part of. Until now.

That is why I was very meticulous with the process that I share here with you. I always find interesting to see how others work and thought, this could be interesting for some of you. Click on the images to see them bigger.

First of all I drew a very rough sketch (no images, sorry) after an idea I had while visiting the  Mercedes Museum (don't miss it if you ever come to Stuttgart!!! even if you are not interested in cars) and then I drew the different elements on sketch paper (I like to use the one in a roll) and played with them until it looked the way I wanted.

Then I transferred the lines from the sketch paper to the sketchbook. The method I use for that is to redraw the drawing on the backside of the transparent sketch paper, place it on top of the final paper, and press again with a pencil along the lines (redraw it for third time), so that the graphite on the backside will be transferred to the "good" paper.

Then I complete the lines if needed (there is always a part that has been forgotten or where the line hasn't transferred clear enough).

In this drawing I treated the different elements with different techniques. So, for the car I first wet the whole surface with clear water...

...and then I covered the wet paper with these Vallejo liquid watercolours. I know: "liquid"? yes, I don't really understand how they are liquid and watercolours but that is what they are called and I love them. I use them since I made a fashion illustration course back in 1994. Their colour is much more vivid than the normal watercolours'. In this case I used black mixed with bright yellow and I let the colours mix generously on the water surface.

For the text line I went directly with a pink Schneider Topliner 967 I once bought in a set in the post office: They are totally inexpensive and have a super quality and very bright colours too. And they last very long.

For the girl I used a collage technique. I actually up-cycled the packaging paper of Idee, one art & craft supply shop I visit almost every time I go down-town.

I completed her with a 0.1 Faber-Castell Ecco-Pigment black fineliner. I have to say that the colleagues of the IO had bought super sketchbooks with a very nice paper that would endure all kind of techniques, dry or wet.

Et voilà! I liked the result and I resolved to use this mixed techniques more often. But, like with so many other things, that didn't happen. Yet.

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