I am currently working on some large scale illustrations for a bird hide on the Axe Estuary Wetlands.  These illustrations are drawn digitally using vectors on a computer, below is an overview of the process I go through.

Image 1 – Firstly I draw out the basic shape of the bird with black lines, keeping it very simple.  I divide the image into areas that will have the same background colour.

Image 2 – I start to colour the shapes that I have drawn.  This stage will produce the overall shape and colour of the bird with simple shadows and highlights added to give it form.

Image 3 –  Detail is added including some stylised feather shapes and the all important highlight on the eye.

Image 4 – More detail is layered on, as the final image will be about a meter in size these extra little features should hopefully help it keep its impact when enlarged.

Below is the finished Peregrine in flight, first image shows all the wire frame of the drawing and the second image the fully coloured bird.

Final image – As it will appear in the hide, the full panel will be nearly 3 metres in height but as it is drawn digitally it can be reproduced on a large scale without losing quality.