Custom Illustration & Artwork
The rugged scenery that characterizes southern Jordan is offset by the colorful textiles bedecking this camel, resting at the height of the day. The richness of the saddle and blankets made a wonderful contrast with the dusty camel and the pale rocky surroundings.
This illustration, as with most of the gouache work, starts with an underpainting in a monochromatic grisaille effect which then creates a continuity to the painting when other colors are layered on top. Gouache, a heavily pigmented water soluble paint, is favored for its versatility and ease of reproduction.
10" x 12" gouache on Arches paper.
A late summer drive through the winding roads of Cape Breton Island found this scene of vivid contrasts. The clear day accentuated the brilliant yellows and jewel-like tones of the distant marshes.
This illustration has been used for a number of print purposes that called for a sunflower theme.
10" x 12" gouache on Arches paper.
A detail from Gannon & Benjamin's boat shop interior.
Gannon & Benjamin is a well-known wooden boat shop and marine railway in Vineyard Haven, on the island of Martha's Vineyard. Elizabeth was pleased to be able to study and photograph many tools and aspects of the workshop and boats under construction. This illustration also appeared in Good Old Boat magazine.
7" x 8" gouache on Canson paper.
Heavily pigmented watercolor applied to a Canson paper background brought out the textures in this illustration of a building detail at Nijo-jo, an impressive Japanese castle in Kyoto. The grounds at Nijo are filled with wonderful buildings and details, beautifully preserved.
Gates and screens are decorated with engravings, cut-outs and painted adornment, and details such as the one seen here abound. Also of interest are the gardens which contain more varied forms and textures.
22" x 24" watercolor on Canson paper.
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum requested a design that could be used on t-shirts for the shipwright apprentice program. The illustration included two projects that were being completed at that time: the restoration of the skipjack Rosie Parks, and the building of the buy boat Old Point. Added to the design was the signature building on the museum grounds, the Hooper Strait lighthouse.
2 color design printed on a khaki background.
14" x 17" 2-color separation
Along with a continual apprenticeship program, the boat shop at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum also has an Apprentice for a Day program for the public.
In order to provide an illustration that would be general in terms of project but represent the Apprentice for a Day experience, Elizabeth Whelan drew a selection of boat shop tools and an appropriate plan for a small craft.
2-color illustration printed on a pale blue background.
14" x 13" separations for screenprint.
The old flour mill in St. Michaels, Maryland is an amazing example of machinery created in the 1920's, using wood for most of the conveyors and housings. The building complex is now home to shops, a winery and brewery, however the old millstone and equipment remain as they were at the time the mill closed in the 1970's.
Elizabeth Whelan had a studio at the mill for a number of years and did a number of studies of the mill workings during that time.
18" x24" mixed media on Canson paper.
One of the enjoyable aspects of visiting a musuem boat shop or any wooden boat shop, for that matter, is the interesting assortment of subject matter for illustration. These items were salvaged from and for restoration projects taking place on old boats of the Chesapeake Bay.
"I prefer not to pose objects, instead I like to catch a scene as it is. I find compositions suggest themselves from life without needing much help. A pile of tools laying just as the shipwright left them, or items such as these, placed carefully with like objects and labeled for future identification, these are scenes from our times and have added interest due to natural context."
7" x 12" gouache on Canson paper.
The midtone background was perfect for showing these two plants: Snow in Summer, a low-growing plant favored in rock gardens which can be quite invasive depending on the growing zone, and Monkshood, which is well-known as being a highly-toxic but gorgeous flowering perennial.
This illustration started with a pencil sketch and was completed in Painter, using a loose drawing style.
A series of watercolour and colored pencil illustrations on tinted Canson paper were used in a number of nautical publications including Good Old Boat magazine. These blocks were hanging inside the boatshop at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and the way they caught the sunlight in late afternoon is intensified by the gold background and the warm tones.
8" x 10" mixed media on Canson paper.
This gouache illustration of a series of garden herbs accompanied an interesting article in Edible Vineyard magazine on various methods for harvesting and preserving herbs in the fall. This included freezing cilantro and parsley, a very useful way to keep these herbs around all winter.
"For reference material I dashed out to the herb garden and picked some suitable subjects. As the masters say, it's important to paint from life! The tarragon in the middle was the most interesting plant as the fall weather was upon us and the leaves were curling in a lyrical manner."
This design is being expanded into a fabric and wallpaper line based on North American herbs found in most kitchen gardens, using a similar artwork style and palette.
9" x 6" gouache on Arches paper.
Elizabeth Whelan and the client determine the nature of the project including approval stages and final submission format, the due date, and the terms and conditions. A contract or letter of agreement is sent by Elizabeth to the client outlining these details, with a price estimate and other information pertinent to the project. A deposit is required before work begins.
Rough sketches or concepts are provided initially to solidify the direction of the project. Email provides an efficient method of communication as the project transitions to a finished piece.
Upon final approval of the piece, the files are sent to the client via email, CD or are made available via Dropbox. If the piece includes spot colors, Pantone Matching system color information is included as are any specific notes for the printer.
Elizabeth Whelan can continue to communicate with your printers and assist in the final product proofing if that is so desired.
Experience has shown that each illustration assignment includes many unique factors.
A review of the potential project between the client and Elizabeth Whelan is the only way to obtain a satisfactory estimate of time and price.
This can easily be done over the phone or via email. A cost estimate and proposal will be submitted upon request.
Factors to consider are:
Concepts and roughs, color comps, production and mechanical needs, final art format, materials and print costs, delivery of art, pre press approvals, date required, rights to be purchased, use of artwork, royalty agreements.
Please provide as many details of the job as you can for the most accurate estimate.
NOTE: deadline needs are factored into pricing. Favorable pricing is given to those projects that can be worked into the existing schedule, whereas immediate deadlines will incur higher charges.
Illustrator Elizabeth Whelan's terms for payment include a deposit paid in advance with the remainder due upon final receipt of services. This means C.O.D., with payment being due at the time the files or disk with the completed art is given to the client or when finished artwork has been delivered.
Larger commissions may be billed in phases. Regular clients may establish separate billing agreements.
Original artwork already created and available for purchase requires payment in advance of shipping.
All assignments and financial agreements will be confirmed in writing. Payment for all services is due upon receipt of the artwork in final format (on CD, via email or FTP, etc.) in all cases unless other arrangements have been made.
A finance charge will be incurred for all invoices not paid by the due date as stated in the invoice. Please be sure to ask for details about payment arrangements if necessary.
All work created by illustrator and portrait artist Elizabeth R. Whelan is original and protected under current copyright law (with the exception of the items used by permission, in which case the correct copyright line has been indicated). The wave logo is both trademarked and service marked. Unauthorized use for business or commercial purposes constitutes copyright infringement and is liable to prosecution.
All work presented for client approval and the rights to use of that art belong to the artist until paid for by the client per agreement. At no time is this artwork available for use by any other party unless agreed to by Elizabeth R. Whelan expressly and in writing.
For more information on copyright and ethical issues, please visit the US Copyright Office:
One of the wonderful aspects of being a commercial illustrator these days is the array of tools available. You can create illustrations with everything from scanned pencil artwork to powerful graphics programs and use contemporary methods with traditional media, or traditional methods with digital media -- the possibilities are endless.
Elizabeth Whelan gravitated early on to pen and ink, conte crayon, gouache, linocut, and oil paints for her traditional media. For digital work she uses the Adobe Creative Suite 6 and Painter 12, however most of her artwork combines traditional and digital work to some extent. Regardless of the final method of work, all her artwork starts with pencil sketches either in her sketchbook or on tracing paper.
Illustrator and portrait artist Elizabeth Whelan is pleased to help out students who are interested in the field of illustration. However she has become inundated with requests to answer interview questions for student projects, and this has become a dilemma. Although she would like to help out every student it is not always possible to answer each email in a thoughtful manner. Therefore she has created a page with the answers to questions she has received previously about commercial art, illustration and design -- please check this page first before inquiring further.
Also, please read Marian Bantjes post on the same subject -- it seems many illustrators and designers are in the same position. and Marian has stated her case pretty directly. http://www.bantjes.com/about-me/students
If a student or hopeful freelancer has other questions for reasons other than a school report, please continue to email Elizabeth and she will respond as soon as possible.