Studio 2 – Sarah Beetson

Design, Drawing, Graphic Design

A few weeks ago we had a special guest come talk at SAE Brisbane – Sarah Beetson. Here’s just a little bit of info about her:

Sarah Beetson is a British Fashion Illustrator and Artist who is based in Australia. She graduated in 2002 and spent a year gaining experience in London, working for Mary Portas, POP Magazine and Stella McCartney, before establishing a career as a freelance illustrator, and as a talent scout for Global Agency Illustrationweb. Sarah’s extensive client list has included The Telegraph and The Times, Penguin Books, The British Fashion Council, MACCosmetics, Delta Airlines, The Wall Street Journal, Smithsonian Mag, Ford Germany, and Perth Fashion Week. Her accolades include Creative Review’s Best in Book for Illustration 2011, and The Metro Award 2012 (shortlisted). Sarah has exhibited her art in London, Paris, New York, Portland, Ottawa, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Brisbane. She creates her illustrations by hand, using a wide variety of mixed media. She spends time annually in Europe and North America; a suitcase of art materials and A4 scanner in her luggage so that she is able to work as she travels. Sarah’s art explores contemporary politics, celebrity and the perversities of popular culture.

Check out her website here

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There were a few things that I found interesting from her talk. Firstly, I was pretty amazed at the amount of work she has accomplished. I can’t remember if she talked much about how long each piece takes but she had such a large amount of work that she showed us and she didn’t even get through it all. And even though she has a very specific style, it has been used by such a large range of clients. Ikea, Wall Street Journal, Trader Joes, lots of magazines and even a few airlines, just to name a few.

Something else she said really stood out:

“You never know the full value of your images”

She may have done some work on an image, not knowing that it’s exactly the kind of image some big company is looking for to use in their global marketing campaign and next minute it’s plastered all around the country on bus ad and billboards or something. I think it’s really good to know and it kinda motivates me to keep developing ideas and images.

She also talked about having an agent. I think it worked for her because she was freelancing, but also because she had a very specific style throughout all of her artwork. But I guess, as long as you have a portfolio that demonstrates what you’re capable of, having an agent would be a good idea. Something to keep in mind if I ever want to just be a freelance graphic designer. I’d probably have to work at expanding my portfolio and focusing my style.

One more thing, she talked about the turnaround she would have for some projects. For one client, I think it was Wall Street Journal, they would call her up in the evening and she would have one full day to finish the piece…Ahh, yeah sure, I can get that done, I just won’t be sleeping for the next day and can someone please go and get me some coffee… That is one quick turnaround. I think she mentioned that time difference worked in her favour for some of these instances so I would hate to think of what that turnaround would be like if it didn’t. That’s one way to be motivated to do the work I guess. And I guess experience would be a big help. No way I would be able to do that at the moment. Time management is becoming more and more important and figuring out the best methods that will work for me.

There was other stuff she talked about but that’s enough for now. It’s always cool to hear from people who are working in the industry and the things they have found helpful to them.

– KH


Studio 2 – Watercolour Painting

Design, Drawing, Graphic Design

My last analogue piece. Most of my pieces so far have not hat much colour in them at all or very little (pencil, pen, charcoal and collage). So for this one I wanted to use a bit more colour.

I started with doing some research, looking at some watercolour art that’s already out there. I found that I really liked the art that used masking fluid. Masking fluid allows us to create some neat and clean highlights. It’s used to cover the lighter shapes and areas of your image so when you start painting with watercolour, it won’t get on the areas that are covered.

I found this website really helpful 12 Tips for Using Masking Fluid in Watercolor Painting. They had some really good tips to keep in mind when using masking fluid.

There was also a few other tutorials I looked at before starting my experimentation and final piece:

After doing all the research it was time to get down to business and start some of my own.

The steps I took:

  1. Find image to use
  2. Make it black and white (so I knew where to apply the masking fluid)
  3. Sketch image
  4. Apply masking fluid to lighter areas
  5. Let it dry (don’t forget this step – it doesn’t take long)
  6. Start you watercolour painting
  7. Let that dry too
  8. Use a rubber/eraser to remove masking fluid – it comes off really easy
  9. Done!!

Some of my process shots:

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And my final image:

ANA5 - Watercolour


Thanks again for reading. Hope you learned something new.

– Kim

Images retrieved from:

Another pinterest board by someone else:


Studio 2 – Charcoal

Design, Drawing, Graphic Design

My last analogue style is charcoal. The hat for this image is the top hat which fits well with charcoal. There were a few different ways I could go with this one.

Just the had on its own

A vintage looking image of a gentleman wearing a top hat

Or an whole body sized image


I experimented with all three options and I like the final option best. I chose an image of Fred Astaire dancing. I like the way that the charcoal kind of showed the movement of him dancing.


Thanks for reading.

– Kim


Studio 2 – Illustrating in Illustrator

Adobe, Drawing, Graphic Design

Another one of my digital art styles – an illustration of a bear wearing a beanie (because who doesn’t love a good illustration of an animal wearing a beanie). I didn’t really follow a tutorial for this one because in the past week we have looked at a few of the techniques in Illustrator and Photoshop. I did find a number of similar types of illustrations on Pinterest that I’ve used for inspiration. I particularly like the racoon in the snapback and the lumberjack bear 🙂


So for this piece I used both Illustrator and Photoshop. First up I used Illustrator to draw up the bear and then I transferred it into Photoshop to add the colours, shading and a background landscape.


Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 7.28.33 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-14 at 7.26.43 PMBeanie Bear Illustration

I’d appreciate feedback if anyone wants to share. Thanks for reading.

– Kim


Studio 2 – Illustrator Workshop

Adobe, Drawing, Graphic Design

Last week we did a workshop in Illustrator. Our teacher went through some of the different tools you can use in illustrator when creating and colouring in images. The main tools he showed us were the Blob brush tool and the draw inside tool. Then there was also the process of getting your own image into illustrator which can be as simple as taking a photo (you have to make sure your lines are thick enough that they will show up in the image) and then using the image trace tool in Illustrator. Using these two together allows you to draw an image/doodles and then colour within the lines of your image and it also makes it easier to add shading to different areas.

There are numerous examples of digital artwork created using these tools (some are from the slideshow and some I found on Pinterest):

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These tools are a way of taking an image like this (that you’ve drawn yourself by hand or digitally, or maybe you’ve just grabbed an image online):

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 5.48.57 PM

And colour it in so it looks something like this:

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 5.49.05 PM.png

(I grabbed the images from the slideshow in class)

This is the one I worked on, it was an image I found online by an artist named Kerby Rosanes (check him out here on Facebook, he’s really good)


Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 6.15.04 PM

Haven’t finished it yet but and I was just choosing colours randomly but if I ever have some spare time I’ll look at it again. Using the tools our teacher showed us I’m able to select each of the shapes individually and colour them in, add in shading where I want and any highlights too.

Studio 2 – Pen

Drawing, Graphic Design, Studio

My next analogue style is pen drawing. You know the ones, they look amazing and it’s all done using by pen.

Like any of these

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Or the ballpoint pen drawings

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Note: these were all found on Pinterest. I find a lot of things on Pinterest.

Yeah, I thought I’d attempt one of them. Brilliant plan. Well I’ll let you know that I wasn’t as bad at it as I thought I was going to be. It was just very time consuming.

The techniques used in pen drawing are similar to those used with pencil, especially hatching, cross hatching and stippling. So I watched some tutorials and practiced some of the techniques

These are some of the tutorials I watched:

Pen and Ink Drawing Tutorials by Alphonso Dunn

Pen and Ink Drawing Techniques by The Virtual Instructor

How to Draw in Ballpoint Pen by Gareth Edwards (I didn’t end up using ballpoint pen though but still thought it was an ok video)

So that’s a few of the videos I watched. I watched some that were just timelapse videos that were pretty cool too. Anyway, moving on to my next steps. I did attempted some of the shading techniques that I saw.

Next I found an image (can you guess where?), drew it in pencil, outlined it in pen (using a Staedtler pigment liner 0.2) and then started shading it. I used hatching and cross hatching depending on how dark I needed it to be. This was just a practice one and it was very time consuming. Think this one took me somewhere around 4hrs.

And then I got to do it all over again for my final drawing. I really wish I’d set up a time-lapse video for it, maybe next time.

Let me know what you think of it.



Studio 2 – Pencil Drawing

Drawing, Graphic Design, Studio

So the first analogue style I tried out was just a sketch using pencil. Now I’ve never thought I was much of a drawer so fingers crossed these turn out ok. I wanted to pick a relatively easy style to start off with just to get into the project. To start with, research and experimentation. I started looking at sketches other people have done, looked at how they shaded their drawings and then looked up some of the different kinds of techniques you can do. We did this a little bit in a drawing class but that was over a year ago and I wanted to refresh my memory a bit.

(If you want to know more about what I’m doing read this blog first:

So here is a handy pin about some of the types of shading to use (I think I might leave the dot (a.k.a. stippling) one for another day):


Next step was starting to do some drawing myself. I found a few photos I wanted to have a go at drawing and just started small. Here are my reference photos (found on Pinterest):

My sketches:

They were just some rough sketches to start with and then the next one I did I did a bit more shading, trying out shading techniques on the hat:

The more I looked at this one, I didn’t like it that much. I didn’t really draw her shoulder right so it looks a bit funny.

I then went on to do another drawing – which will be my final one  that I submit into my digital portfolio. I went looking for another image to use as a reference for my drawing (again found on Pinterest). I also made sure this image was a landscape image because of the specifications for our final digital portfolio (1920px wide x 1080px high).

girl w hat

And here is the sketch so far


Also, I’m just putting my Pinterest board here again because I just keep adding more ideas to it as I go along. Some are specifically different types of images of hats, while others are just ideas I’m thinking about trying and incorporating hats into it.

Let me know what you think.