What is an illustration rough? It is a visual idea for your client. It is an outline usually done in pencil or pen. Often it is for placement, theme and an overall idea of the final image. Once a initial rough has been created you can show it to the the client for feedback. From here you can discuss what needs to be altered, added, deleted, the size, colour, frame, no frame etc. Roughs are made to be changed. The client may not always like the first ideas you may have. Flexibility is key here especially when worse comes to worse and you have to scrap the idea and come up with a whole new one.
Next, after you have a full idea what your client wants you then create a final rough. This image will be clearer, laid out closer to the size or actual size and presented in a more concise layout. From here you will know if anymore changes are to be done after running it by your client. Then you work on the final image.
Things to help your ideas along:
- Lot of notes from your emails, phone calls or from your meeting. I keep a client reference sheet where I make notes on what they discuss. These notes often create more notes and visuals.
- A photo file of images to refer to. Setting up a binder with images of basic pictures to more complicated pictures helps to get ideas quickly. These images can be from magazines to flyers. It is best not to put another illustrators work into this binder but just pictures. For example: I have a separate file of just images of hands and animals cut from magazines.
- Tracing paper is an easy way to manage your images. You can trace over a previous image you drew for placement so it helps you move along quicker.
- A light table for tracing. Again, your ideas can move along when you re-trace certain items for placement instead of redrawing it over and over and a light table will help you see these ideas clearer.
- A good eraser. There will ideas edited and often scrapped altogether.
- Narrative helps. I like to get ideas from magazine buzz words, tag lines, musical lyrics, books and my thesaurus. I love words.
- Presenting more than one image. I often like to give my client the option of more than one layout. I often do this for size, placement, negative space and overall feel of the image. From there it gives the client more to work with.
Remember that this is to help you get ideas and helps move the client/illustrator relationship along. When a client feels you are hearing what they want by creating images in an understandable way while including them in the process you cannot go wrong.
Above image: Visual for a video © Holly DeWolf