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beach sketch for illustrationI was hired recently to create this Hawaiian beach illustration. The illustration is based on a real place in Hawaii – Hanalei Bay. However, all the elements are not, in reality, part of the same scene. My client, Jim, has been to this exact location many times. He remembers this particular beach. He remembers the pier, the mountains, and the plumeria plant. His kids were at this beach, but never at the same time, nor at this age. Jim asked me to merge all these elements into one illustration.

First, Jim and I discussed the project. I gathered lots of information and pictures so I could get the right perspective, size, angle, and color of everything. Then I made a couple quick sketches to make sure I was on the right path.

Then I went to the computer and started creating everything. The first illustration on the computer was another quick sketch, to make sure the colors I was using was ok. Then I slowly added more and more detail, such as the ocean waves, the sunset reflection in the ocean, and the veins in the plumeria plant. All the while, sending Jim screenshots of my progress.

Because this illustration was done in Adobe Illustrator, Jim can have this printed in any size he wishes. Each element is on its own layer in Illustrator. For example the ocean is its own layer. The waves on the ocean are on their own layer. The sunset reflection is its own layer. This way, I can quickly remove elements or apply special effects to just one element, such as the mountains on the left – they’ve been blurred a little to give the impression of leaves.

The sunset, the pier, the shadowing, and perspective give the illustration depth and dimension.

Jim said he was “really happy. Ecstatic” about the illustration.

illustration hawaiian beachThis has been a fun project!

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