Spirits of the Forest

digital illustration of a desk with polaroids of forest spirits and old papers with information

This is an Illustrated infographic project regarding forest dwelling spirits from different cultures around the globe. Digitally painted start to finish with Procreate.

collection of research for an infographic

To begin I went through and researched many different cultures folklore and myths regarding forest dwelling spirits, fairies and monsters. I compiled a list of potential creatures I wanted to include on the illustrated infographic. Afterwards, I narrowed it down to some that I thought would be fun to draw. Using Pinterest I got some inspiration for the illustrative style I wanted to use with this project and created a mood board.

collection of black and white thumbnails

The next step in the process was thumb-nailing my infographic. After working with a few different ideas including a map, a notebook page, and a faux corkboard style, I ultimately decided to go with the desk. This way I could easily include photo examples and written information while maintaining some flexibility in the layout and composition. The more organic layout works too because it fits the feel of the subject matter.

rough black and white digital sketch of a desk with papers on it
rough digital sketch of a desk with polaroids on it in green and brown

Finalizing the composition and doing the actual illustration came next. Starting with a cleaner sketch, I went on to digitally paint and render, tracking roughly 9 hours of work time. Starting with flat colors, I layered on details and rendered objects.

I individually digitally painted the fake Polaroids of the creatures I chose into their frames. I then illustrated the objects like the compass and mug that I wanted to put on the desk separately then placed them in the frame. I hand drew the text for the information (which took many attempts to get it how I liked it!) and illustrated the title because I wanted it to look carved into the wood. Additionally I added in light and shadow effects using a combination of layering transparency and blending modes.

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