Although a lot of illustrator Lizzie Mary Cullen’s work is made with black Rapidograph pens, she finds that using a carefully chosen colour palette can really make an illustration pop.

See also: 83 Best Photoshop tutorials

“There’s a lot of different methods for choosing colours,” she explains, “and for me, it’s all about instinct.” 

Here Lizzie shows how she coloured her artwork of St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. “Located on Madison Avenue, it’s one of my favourite buildings in the city, and at night it’s really something to see,” she says.

She demonstrates her process of choosing colour: including how to select the right one for your work, and understanding how colours work together. Working with a limited palette, Lizzie is careful to ensure she gets exactly the shade she wants for each colour. For artworks like these, she relies on Pantone colours to ensure the colours come out on her prints just as she wants them too. 

“My years as a graphic designer have trained me to lean on the Pantone colours, like a wizened old man leans on a stick,” Lizzie notes.

Time to complete

2-3 hours, depending on the speed of your drawing


Photoshop and good eye-hand co-ordination

Next Step »