Illustration Process: From Sketchbook to Screen

Mothering Sunday, the UK's version of Mother's Day, fell on March 18 this year, and to honor the event and my mom, I made an illustration for the Ameila's Magazine Blog.  You can see my illustration by looking at this post and scrolling down a bit, and you can also read what I wrote about my mom on that page. 

I wanted to talk a bit today about how my idea process and sketching process happened in relation to this illustration, and I hope it will inspire you to make a special drawing for someone you love!

First, I thought of what my mom meant to me, and I wrote in my journal about her.   I did a little brainstorming, and I realized that my mom is not only my first call in the morning when I wake up, but she is also my last call of the day before I go to bed.   I decided to base my illustration on that fact.

I did some thinking and, in my head, came up with an image of us talking on the phone with the phone cords circling us in a heart shape.  This is my initial sketch:

 It isn't much to look at, I know, but that is how rough my ideas are at the beginning!

Next, I drew mini portraits of myself and my mom using pen, ink, and pencil:

Then I used my little copy machine to shrink us down (old school, I know!), cut and pasted us onto a new sheet of paper, and drew the phone cords around us:

I xeroxed us again, then I added words:

Then came my favorite part: watercolors and acrylics!  First, I xeroxed the image onto some thicker paper that could hold water media and not buckle like regular copy paper.  Then I painted away!

Finally, I scanned the image, added a background color, and here is the completed illustration ready for Amelia's Magazine:

I hope you enjoyed this peek into my process, and I hope you will make a drawing for someone special very soon!

Have a creative day!


  1. tessa, i did enjoy it! that was fun. you created a very nice thing for your mum. i liked the images shown on that website too. :)

  2. Hi Teddi,
    Thanks so much for your kind words! It was so much fun making a piece for my mom - she is awesome. :) Isn't Amelia's website wonderful?

    Have a great day!

  3. Lovely! I bet your mom adores this.

  4. Lovely sketch. Good to see your step to step creative work. Brilliant :)


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