By Martin Salisbury
224 pages, hardcover, $45
Published by Thames & Hudson
To illustrate means to have developed a proficiency in storytelling and conveying meaning through drawing, but to be an illustrator, an artist
must develop their own personal style. This means they must not only learn how to illustrate but how they illustrate. Martin Salisbury, a professor of illustration at the Cambridge School of Art in the United Kingdom, distills his experience in instructing students into this modest but informative guide that brings readers and hopeful illustrators through the process of evolving their style.
Beginning with the fundamentals, Salisbury discusses how media dictates style; how to develop techniques like line and tone; and how to bolster practices through different approaches, such as keeping a sketchbook or drawing from photographs or memory. His succinct explanations for the reasoning behind each subject cement the why in readers’ minds, but to convey more information, he accompanies his text with pertinent information from contemporary and historical illustrators. For example, there’s an interview with Alexis Deacon on sketchbooks and the feeling of “finished work”, and Salisbury includes a small feature on Evelyn Dunbar, a World War II–era war artist known for her flowing book illustrations. The book also explores the many applications for commercial illustrators, from books and graphic novels to editorials to advertising to caricature, discussing the medium’s place within each.
Drawing for Illustration may not necessarily be for established illustrators, but for those beginning their career journeys or just searching
for new perspectives on the discipline, Salisbury wrote this for you. —Michael Coyne