Workshop with Emily Evans

Today we had a painting/illustration workshop with Emily Evans. The idea was to generate ideas for our portfolio covers thought different methods: painting, drawing, collaging, patterns…

At first I felt like the workshop wasn’t exactly what I would usually do. I do like painting, but illustration is not really my thing. But I tried my best to engage with the tasks and actually I managed to make some interesting experiments.


The first stage of the workshop was to list words and sentences that describe ourselves as designers/illustrators. I found this part of the whole day the most difficult. I hate these kind of exercises because I never know what to write or can never think of anything. The words that I was able to scribble down were: controlled, typographic, non-illustrative, perfectionist, clear vision, rational, abstract, organized, hard-working, and reliable.

Next we moved on to painting. We had to paint at least 5 patterns/textures on A3 papers. I just started painting, didn’t try to over think what to do. I had loads of brushes and watercolors with me so I did a few different combinations. This is what I did:

While those were drying we had to do some quick sketches (objects or people) that somehow represent the words that we listed about ourselves in the beginning of the class. I found this part too quite difficult because I don’t do much drawing (even though I probably should) so I didn’t know what to draw or how to start. I did 3 drawings:

  1. a camera that has an eye in the place of the lens
  2. 3 blobs
  3. a girl with brushes and a ruler and scissors sticking out of her hair bun

The camera had the idea of clear vision behind it, combined to a camera because I like photography. I’m not really that impressed by the quality of my sketch, though. The blobs were supposed to be paint stains but they didn’t really have any greater meaning to them. I just didn’t know what to draw. And by the brushes etc, the 3rd sketch was supposed to represent creativity/design/art, combined that with hair bun just because I like to wear my hair like that. The Chinese look of the 3rd sketch is a pure accident…

My three sketches.

After sketching we went back to our painted patterns and continued working with those. Now the task was to start thinking about book cover designs by cutting, over laying, collaging the patterns and laying it out onto a book cover template. We also had to add text.

I first went to photocopy my paintings because I didn’t want to cut the originals into pieces. I decided to try to work with the red painting (now grey because I took black and white photocopies). Emily came to take a look at my list of words and thought I could continue developing the idea of an eye. She also thought it would be interesting to think how to combine “rational” and “abstract” together.

I cut an “eye shape” out of the pattern and draw additions on top of it. I also used the pattern for the title letters and the spine. Lastly I cut slices out of the same pattern and glued them on the back cover. I am not really satisfied with the result but it was a fun experiment.

My experiment book cover: back cover, spine and front cover.



After the workshop I went to the uni library to scan my paintings and experiments. I started experimenting in Photoshop what I could do with them digitally. This was the exciting part for me. I haven’t really used a lot of Photoshop or Illustrator so far, or at least I don’t yet know what all you can do with it and how.

First I tried different image traces on the drawing of the girl in Illustrator. I really liked the dark black one.

I also changed colors of the paintings and tried placing the drawing of the girl on top of the different painted backgrounds. I thought some of the outcomes were quite cool!

The patterns in different colors:

The drawing on top of different edited paintings:



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