Illustration Walkthrough with Storyboard Revisionist Isabella Von Metzradt

Storyboard Revisionist Isabella Von Metzradt will be exhibiting and selling her work at this year's Dublin Comic Con. We thought it would be fun to take a quick peak at some of her work and see how she works up her pieces:

Isabella: My process for working has become more streamlined over the years since I started drawing. I’ve been working as a professional freelance artist since 2011, but I’ve been working on my drawing ever since I can remember.

I only got into digital work when I was around 15 or 16 though after my older brother bought me my first Wacom tablet and copy of Photoshop CS4. He taught me the basics of how layers worked and left me alone to work it out myself!

There were lots of mistakes and things to be learned, but you don’t get anywhere by making no mistakes at all!

The biggest challenge I had when solidifying my work process was definitely before I figured out how to use the magic wand tool. Instead of selecting my lines and cutting all the excess colour around the outside of them with a few clicks of a button, I used to spend hours hand erasing all of the colour that went outside the lines. I did this until a friend of mine showed me in high school, and it totally changed the way I worked since then!

It’s also important to have some good reference material when drawing, google has heaps and heaps of great images for you to use as reference, but there are also many other online resources to help you hone your skills and pick up some good tips.


Below is a GIF showing the various stages in creating my piece - Summer:

Summer by Isabella Von Metzradt

A rough sketch starts everything off, and then from there you can work more details into the lineart, finalizing the general look of what you’re painting.

In this particular image, there was a stage inbetween the very rough sketch you can see here and the line art, it was where I basically just went in and tidied the sketch up a little bit but nothing too over the top. Just enough so I can easily translate them into lineart later.

A good tip if you are using lineart in your drawing is to lock the line art layer and colour the lines after you’ve shaded your image. Usually any colour but black is good, as it makes it look less muddy when the image is finished. It can be tedious, but often worth it.

Once that's done, I usually work on the background first, or I at least block in the colours and rough elements I want. For me it helps establish the atmosphere I want and later helps me make the characters feel part of the image and alive.

It also helps with establishing a light source here if there is one. A good tip for maintaining your chosen light source is to actually make a mark on your image on a seperate layer while your drawing, you can draw a quick sun or a lightbulb whatever helps. If you keep referring to that while you shade it will make sure you don't create light where it shouldn't hit.

Look up image reference for the kind of lighting you're after as well. For example, if you’re shading metal in sunlight, google it to see how the light bounces and reflects off of it.

After that I block and apply flat colours to the figures, which I then add a rough layer of shading to establish where I want my shadows. I also rough in more background details like water reflections and more details on the clouds.

Once that’s done it’s usually just tightening up the shading, and going in and detailing it. I also worked on the clouds more and they’re pretty much almost done.

After that it’s usually just adding colour overlays to add some warmth into the shading, and which adds a lot to the overall feeling of the image, and once all that's done, it's on to the finishing touches!

The last things I added in this image were sparkles on the water's surface, the paper planes in the sky and some stars to make the sky pop. Then I’m done!

Check out more of Isabella's art work here:

Anahita Tabarsi

Anahita is Brown Bag Films' Digital Media Coordinator and designated photographer.

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