There are several techniques or styles of making an illustration. Each of these techniques has its distinctive process and media specially used for creating the illustration. The graphic artist must therefore familiarize himself well with a particular technique before adopting and using it for the production of a graphic design product. Examples of some of the techniques in illustration are:
1. Pen and wash- This illustration technique involves the drawing of the outlines of the illustration in pencil. Ink is used to go over the drawn outlines in pencil. When it is dried, a small quantity of the ink is diluted with water in a lighter tone. Brush is used to apply the paint at the darker areas of the drawing. The painted areas are washed to create various tones to bring out the forms of the illustration. The outlines are made stronger by the use of pen lines. It is used for catalogues, village and market scenes, fashion design magazines, book covers etc.
2. Pen and ink- This is the use of pen and ink to draw the outlines of the drawing and using any of the shading methods to bring out the forms in the drawing. It is used for illustrations in books, newspapers and magazines.
3. Flat colour painting- In this technique, the colours are painted flat with no gradation in tone. The edges of the sections of the painted drawings are sharp and distinct, setting the difference in the various parts of the drawing. It is used for illustrations in story books, road signs, greeting cards etc.
4. Realistic painting- This is the drawing of objects to show great details as they actually appear in nature. It is used for advertisement, fashion magazine and illustrations in books.
5. Silhouette- This is the creating of the outlines of a drawing in pencil and filling the inner part uniformly with black paint or ink. Silhouette drawings do not show details just the outlines that define the objects are shown. They are used for road signs, package symbols, illustrations in fashion magazines etc.
6. Cartooning- This is the creation of humorous or satirical figures with exaggerated forms. This illustration technique is used for illustrating children books, newspapers, magazines etc.
7. Photography- This is the taking of shots of real objects and scenes by the use of a camera. It gives the exact likeness of the objects and scenes. Photographs are used for posters, magazines, newspapers etc.