Art, Drawing, Josephine, marker and ink illustration

The Long and Winding Road to (Almost) Completion for My Latest Illustration

The process of completing an illustration takes me quite a few steps sometimes.

In this case, the first sketch was done about a month ago in a hotel room in Saratoga, NY…

in the mirror prelim pencil sketch

Then a few days ago, I redid the sketch so that “Josephine” would look more playful and flirty…

in the mirror sketch

I thought she looked really good, so I proceeded to the inked outline stage…

in the mirror pen outline

But when I finished coloring her in, I was dismayed.  Not only had I overworked areas (the hand gave me a great deal of trouble), but I realized the eyes weren’t right, and I needed a better solution for the window frame…

In the mirror old final

I felt like I was getting somewhere with this version, but I hadn’t resolved the background issue yet…

in the mirror prelim ps resized

And here’s what I came up with.

In the mirror final resized

But wait, there’s more!  You can look forward to seeing this illustration on a new product very soon.  Stay tuned…


  1. Looks great! I have a million teeny steps to finish my things, too. No wonder it takes me so long to make them. Will be experimenting with a way to reduce the time, soon.

    • Hi Helen,

      Thanks! I saw on your FB posts that the Dog Show went, well, to the dogs. So sorry to hear about it, but it happens to all of us. I did a gift show in Chicago at my aunt’s school district when I was just starting out in jewelry…and sold one beaded necklace. It was a junky show mainly, but I felt mortified all the same. I still don’t like the idea of shows. I guess I need to grow some thicker skin!

      Ciao – Joana

  2. great to see your process, as well as the versions that didn’t quite work out. Good to know that this happens to others sometimes.

    • Hi Bob,

      Thanks for your nice comment! After I put up that post, it occurred to me that showing the “nitty gritty” of the creative process could backfire if people prefer to think of us artists as always being in a state of flow with our work emerging effortlessly. Our society pays a lot of attention to “overnight sensations”; sometimes it’s as if anything else is perceived as lack of talent. That said, I prefer to be honest about my process with the hope that others will be inspired to pursue their own creative ambitions as a result. So, I’m glad that the post resonated with you!

      With all best wishes,

      • I think people like to see the beginnings of ideas, as well as the things that didn’t quite work out. I’m trying to remember to show that I’m somewhat less than perfect, at least some of the time. :o)

        • A good point! I certainly am inspired by seeing “works in progress.” On of my favorite artists, Arturo Elena, does have some “in process” pictures on his Facebook Page. Because his work is so photo-realistic, getting to see how he creates his magic (all done by hand with markers) is as much elucidating as it is inspiring!

          Hope you have a nice week! Joana

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