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Illustration and its importance in your art

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What is an Illustration?

Illustration is an impression of an imaginative mind on a medium, and an expression of the artist. It is not a modern phenomenon. It has its roots deep into the past. Its history goes back to the per-historic era, when human beings used to live in caves and used different sign languages to communicate with each other. The concept of illustration in the fields of art and creativity always relied on the medium of expression.

Medium is an intermediary layer which captures the imaginations of an artist. The importance of medium in art, despite what type it shared, is vital and cannot be ignored. The reason behind this fact is that without medium, the depiction of art is almost impossible. Every art needs expression, and every expression requires a medium.

Types of Medium and Artists:

  • Traditional Artists using Traditional Media

In order to convey the message to a greater audience, artists chose to use different types of mediums. Some artists prefer to use canvas as their medium. For some, sketchbook, sketch paper, fabric art are the choices of mediums. It is, nevertheless, a matter of inspiration rather than the choice of the medium to represent the art. Therefore, the artists belong to these class are considered as the “Traditional artists” and “traditional art” respectively.

  • Non-traditional Art:

Whereas, on the other hand, there is yet another class of art and artists. The inspiration they get is from digital creation and representation of art. These are categorized as “Non-traditional art” and “Non-traditional artists” because of the ingenuity and innovation in their work of art and in their creation. The artists belonged to this class use digital medium to express their art to the world.

Graphic Designing and Vector based Illustrations:

These artists use graphic designing and vector based illustrations to create art from their imaginations and produce it in digital medium to their audience.

Although, there is a fundamental difference in both types and classes of the art and artists but at the same time, both share a same philosophy; illustrations and drawing as the core of both classes of the art and the artists. Because, art is incomplete without illustrations and the paintings, whatsoever. At this juncture, it is imperative to distinguish between monochromatic type of illustration and illustrations with different colours.

Illustration Categories:

  • Monochromatic Illustrations:

This type of illustration means, illustrations, regardless of their medium, drawn in one colour. This type of illustration is challenging for the artists and also for the viewers to create and understand, respectively. When we say monochromatic, we generally mean and get the idea of what we are referring to as the term is self-explanatory; black or graphite colour on white medium, but this is not necessary as artists can use any colour of its choice as long as he or she is drawing and illustrating the shape or the object with one(mono) colour(chromatic).

  • Illustrations with Colours:

This is famous in the circles of graphic, web, and logo designers and the illustrators of any other kind. The inclusion of wonderful computer software like Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop has extended their expertise to designing websites, mobile app’s user interface and logo designing. Artists from all around the world, uses these graphic software to create art

Also Read: Colour Therapy: A guide to Manage your Anxiety


However, the diversity in the field of art has also created the necessity for the artists to excel in the both categories, traditional and non-traditional, but this is important to note here that traditional form of art is as important as the digital form of art because of the importance of the art itself.

Some artists are staunch believers of traditional way of art, and they stick to the charcoal, graded pencils, acrylics, oil based colours, turpentine, linseed oil, and other art essentials to pursue their art carrier. Whereas the other half uses and prefer the digitized medium to express their art. In doing so, their art reaches to the wider audience as a message they want to convey, preserving the essence of illustration in the modern art cannon.

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