Basics of illustration: Devil is in the detail

I'd be lying if I said this was my favourite part of drawing - As I'm equally as satisfied smashing out a really strong foundation, however, detail is where people really see the piece come to life and "the magic happens". Now I’ve given a bit more insight into how I start a piece, I thought it was only fair and pretty relevant to show what people would say is “the good bits”. I have always very much enjoyed adding detail, it’s a part of the process that I love doing so much, it’s another aspect of my meditation. I think it’s important to mention even though I’m giving insight into my own detail process - finding your own style is crucial, take what you learn and form it into your process rather than adjusting your process.

The devil is in the detail

I think it's easy to forget that the detail isn't always something you notice right away - which is probably why I love it. I've noticed myself pointing detail out to people and it's made me appreciate it so much more. For me the detail is taking notice of the smallest things, because I enjoy them, the list can really go on. What's your list of favourite details?
EYES: shadows of the lashes, creases on the eye lids, tones in the iris, shadows in side the eyes.
NOSE: shadows/shapes a nose casts, little grooves under the nose.
MOUTH: the shadows under the bottom lip, the cuts and creases in the lips, teeth (although mostly frustrating to get right).

Practice makes perfect

Not only the practice of adding detail takes time, but getting familiar with how to use new products - you probably won't pick it up straight away. That is not a bad thing, take your time to explore it will only increase your knowledge and help build your skill. As for practice makes perfect - it does. Simple. Whatever your perfect is, you will find your signature style and it will continue to evolve. Although drawing can be picked up and put down over time - I’ve seen what consistent drawing and practice can do, it’s nothing short of magic…

Best tools for details

With trial and error I’ve found the perfect tools for my practice - I use blending stumps, mechanical pencils and a kneadable eraser to create my detailed works. Like any purchases - it's important to consider quality, as almost everything I've used has a much lesser version and quality.
Blending stumps - come in different sizes, they are inexpensive and last a year, or even longer however I have found shit ones are hard to use.
Mechanical pens - I currently use standard news agent brands, and as my work is very tonal I also use 2 - one for main/darker areas (2B) and one for light details/blonde hair (HB).
Kneadable eraser - Found in any art shop and most news agents. I’ve had my run in with shit quality (Mont Marte) and I depend on the Faber Castell brand.
* Other creatives I know also use cotton wool buds, tissue, and electric erasers.

I decided to show a bit more into my practice and process with my upcoming art classes in mind. If you are Brisbane or close local - you’re more than welcome to come along to my art class sessions at Ironlak where we will go through everything above…in detail… Find more upcoming workshop details (HERE) or save yourself a spot to my July 29 class through here (DIRECT LINK). 

Enjoy x

Alex Saba