I had a look at the following link to view more of Veronica Lawlor’s work on her website:

Additionally, I had a look at some illustrations by Veronica Lawlor on Pinterest:

When looking at the “Bio” on the website of Veronica Lawlor, I am impressed by her long list of diverse clients. When looking at her portfolio of “Reportage& Travel” illustrations, it is interesting to see the way she uses a combination of black-& white; as well as “splashes” of colour. The way she combines the two, is visually effective. When looking at her illustrations, I can sense the movement on the page representing the event/ scenes observed. The illustrations come “alive” and creates a feeling of movement, overlapping different shapes of people and things, creating a “buzz” on the page. It captures a “feeling”/ atmosphere, not only the physical place/ event. The way she uses different thickness in lines, paint, pencils and crayons is interesting. She is really good at creating representations of busy streets/ crowded scenes/ places. Even though a lot of her images are overlapping, when looking at the illustration as a whole, it is visually interesting and effective.

While looking at her website, I also had a look at “People and portraits” in her portfolio. Some of the sketches almost looks like blind contour/ semi-blind contour drawings. Others seem to combine the use of words/ doodles and limited lines or minimal use of colour. Some of the illustrations creates the effect of movement, for example: as hands are drawn repeatedly as they move. It seems like she is not focusing on perfection, but rather on capturing/ portraying the atmosphere of a place/ nature of a person. It looks like she works fast at times in order to capture a moment and often uses repeated lines/ layers.

Her “Illustrations for children” seems very different from her reportage/ portrait illustrations. Some are more abstract/ surreal, using a variety of different mediums/ techniques. I can imagine that some of her illustrations could possibly have been inspired by her reportage illustrations as reference. Some sketches included, creates the same sense of movement.

Under the title, “Food & Beverage” in her portfolio, there are illustrations of food/ markets from a variety of countries that could possibly have referred back to the reportage illustrations as reference, creating/ representing the atmosphere experienced when visiting those places. The way she uses her “zoomed-in” image representation for the design of bottle labels is very effective.

I looked at the illustrations under “Graphic & Symbol”. Although these images seem very simple, I can imagine that previous reportage sketches could have possibly been used as references for the design of some of the shapes in these illustrations. For Example: posture; shapes; formation of characters, in order to represent the visual message created through these illustrations.

Under “Fashion”, some of her illustrations seems a very similar style to her reportage illustrations. The charming use of black& white and “splashes” of colour, again creating a sense of movement. Other fashion images are more abstract, using the “negative space” to create an image/ shape, using bold colours and limited lines/ detail, while others are more detailed. I must say, I prefer her reportage style fashion illustrations. I love the limited use of colour and the way she captures the character/ feelings/ personality of the model or fashion style.

Under “Storyboards & Comps, the use of fast sketches to represent a storyline from different angles/ perspectives are seen. It creates the sense of movement, a visual story representation, capturing the atmosphere of a place as well as the personality/ emotions of the character. It is very similar to her reportage style illustrations: the sense of movement using overlapping repeating images/ lines; sometimes shapes of people instead of detail; adding frames and notes; using different angles; zooming in/ out in order to tell a story.

When looking at the images under “Textile & Surface Design”, it looks like she used a lot of different ways of mark making and layering. Adding a variety of contrasting colours/ patterns. It is very abstract and thought provoking.


By looking at the work of Veronica Lawlor on her website, provided me with a wonderful example of how artists/ illustrators can use their sketches of people& places from their previous reportage illustrations as reference for other future illustrations. It is interesting to see how her style of reportage sketching influences her other illustrations. The way she draws her characters; uses the combination of black & white, and ‘splashes’ of colour ; and creates a sense of movement in her illustrations, is visible throughout her portfolio work.

I hope that I can follow her example and learn to embrace sketching in public, in order to improve my overall development of skills regarding: drawing people & places; the use of a variety of mediums; as well as learning to create a sense of movement in my illustrations. Hopefully with time and practise, my ability to use random sketches made while outside in public, as reference for future illustrations will improve. When thinking about it, I have still have such a long way to go in order to gain more confidence and the necessary skills to create lively and effective reportage illustrations.

NAME: Juanita du Toit


COURSE: Illustration 1: Illustration Sketchbooks

The Open College of the Arts (University for the Creative Arts)

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