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Bible Illustration Evolution!

Adultery, attempted adultery, attempted murder, and false accusations. Fun stuff!

Since November of 2015, I’ve been slowly going through my ESV journalling Bible and illustrating a page at a time. Some of my goals for this journey are to improve in

1. visual interpretation of scripture

2. artistic composition

3. linework

4. use of colour

There has certainly been an evolution of skill between my Genesis 1 illustration and my most recent illustration – Genesis 39 and 40, but I want to talk about three things I changed between Genesis 38 and Genesis 40 that I think are going to make a HUGE impact on future Bible illustrations I do. Here are my three changes:

1. Planning Ahead

Usually, when I do my Bible illustrations I begin directly on the page, not doing any other sketches or drawings on a test paper. That means that I tend to not put much thought into the composition or interesting character posing. In the first photo I shared on this blog post, I think you can see a clear difference between the first and second page. In the first page, I have a lot of little rectangular segments. In the second page, my images are composed more organically. I hope to continue to improve on this point.


2. Change of pen


Since the beginning of my Bible illustrating, I have been using Micron pens. However, I have recently begun to use a set of Nikko pen nibs on other artwork and enjoy their greater flexibility. I was hesitant to use them on my Bible because of the extremely thin pages, but I took the plunge and tried it and they didn’t bleed through! Yay! I think the quality of the line is much better.

3. New shading technique

I wish I had a proper scanner handy so I could provide better quality thumbnails, but I’m sure you’ll forgive me. ^_^ For this illustration, I did an overall shading with my Derwent watercolour pencil crayon of the “Imperial Purple” variety. I got all the values to what I wanted and then did the colour afterwards. Before this, I would colour things whatever colour I thought they ought to be, and I would shade them by using a darker version of whatever colour they are.

I found that doing it this new way – shading the whole illustration first – helped me think of the colours in a more unified way, instead of seeing each coloured object as a separate entity. I like how it didn’t end up having as bright of colours as it usually does, and is a bit more subtle. I also like how I felt more freedom to leave white spaces, which gives me the ability to put in some nice contrast.

I’m looking forward to continuing this project forever (seriously, the Bible has a LOT of pages!), and I hope that I’ll be able to show a lot of progress in my skill the longer I do it!

Thanks for reading!


P.S. Yes, I did say that I wasn’t going to post any more blog posts on WordPress anymore, in the previous post. My goal at the time was to do everything (blogging, portfolio posting, contact info-ing, etc) from my website but turns out diversification is kinda the way to go when it comes to people actually reading your content. So I’m back. WordPress is where blog stuff goes. Got it. 

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