Love Letter to NY redone with logo, by Joana Miranda

As promised, I’m back today with my redone “Love Letter to New York” illustration along with some tips on Copic rendering techniques.

For comparison purposes, here’s the old illustration…

Love letter to NY

And the new!

Love Letter to NY redone with stars and lighter yellow3 signed

You’ll notice that I not only broke up the blocks of grey with the shading (more on that below), but I also created some architectural interest and added a few chinks of sky (along with some stars!)  Josephine’s costume is more elegant and her features are softer, too.

Besides learning a thing or two about composition, my journey with this illustration has also taught me some successful ways to work with Copic Markers.

#1.  If you’re creating an illustration for print purposes (in this case, this design is for a new business card for MOI), you don’t need to render the original at a large size.  As you can see, I actually shrunk down my original line drawing so that I would have less area to color in…not to mention that it saved me on ink.  Woo hoo!

original illustration and resized version for comparison

#2. For the actual rendering techniques, I did a refresher art school course (oh wait, I didn’t go to art school!) by watching this helpful YouTube video on laying down initial color and blending with Copic Markers :

And, although I used grey from the same family of Cool Grey Copic markers as in the first illustration, I broadened the range of grey so that there would be more visual depth.

#3. I added light touches of white pencil (I used a Conté a Paris pencil since I don’t have a white gel pen) to bring out the highlights in Jo’s dress:

Detail of redone Love Letter to New York illustration

#4. I did the final details (i.e. adding the shadow underneath the ledge and adding the text) in my Corel Paint Shop Pro X5 photo editing program…

love letter to NY elbow redone

And that’s a wrap business card!


    • Joana says:

      Thanks, Celeste! I’ve still got to do the back of the card, but it will just have a simple design since I need to include a lot more text.

      🙂 Joana

  1. Helen Reich says:

    This one is definitely better! She almost looks like a flapper or other retro character, dreaming about conquering the big city. The original Josephine had more of a grimace, looking anxious. The new Josephine looks hopeful! I like that on a business card.

    • Joana says:

      Hi Helen,

      That’s pretty much what Andy thought, too…not to mention that he thought the city in the first version looked like a prison!

      Today in “my” fair city it is rather warmish and very foggy. I went out with my camera to get some good shots of the citys cape in the fog, but the skyline had basically disappeared! I hope I can find my way to Lincoln Center tonight;-)

      Ciao dearie! Joana

      On Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 2:24 PM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


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