Painting a white wall red


by Andrew Hoare · October 2018

What is this article about?

In this article we will discuss the key stages in completing your artwork, called finishing. This will help you understand the process and request the appropriate level of finish for your project.

What is finishing?

Finishing is the final step in the design process and can be completed with various levels of detail. The levels of finish can range from a basic sketch to a photorealistic piece of art.


When The Illustrators commence a project we start with a sketch, which is a freehand drawing based on the design brief. This is a great way for you to get a visual representation of the idea or design concept.

Here is an example of a caricature that we created for a customer is Sydney. Once the sketch is approved we move to colouring and then add the background

Sketch of the Queen with Sydney boys and dog
Sketch / Concept
Progress of sketch adding some colour
Add Colour
Finished caricature of the Queen with boys and dog
Add Background

Basic finishing

A basic level of finish is the quickest and cheapest way to complete a design. Some clients want a rough, natural look. A black and white sketch or line art is an example of basic finishing.

Cartoon boy and girl kissing
Dog line art cartoon pointing leg
Cartoon boy playing a guitar and singing

Standard finishing

A standard level of finish includes bright colours and clean lines. Here are some examples:

Four red rabbits playing musical instruments
Original cartoon characters, wizard, king, queen, fairy, moose and a cat
Happy cartoon girl with arms wide open

From Cartoon to Realism

Here is an example of 3 stages of finishing and the approximate timelines.

Daenerys Targaryen basic cartoon

1 hour

Daenerys Targaryen semi realistic cartoon

1-2 hours

Daenerys Targaryen photo realistic illustration

1-2 days