Inspiration for my Cover Illustration

I have always enjoyed drawing but I never had the opportunity to do a proper (not something created using MS paint) digital illustration until earlier this year that I used Illustrator for the first time. Digital illustrations have always caught my eye but as I have been learning to create my own, I have noticed that creating a digital illustration not only requires learning to use the program but the way in which you construct an image is very different and more technical than with a pencil and paper.

For example the techniques that I use when using illustrator is usually to create a base outline of the image. After creating the outline I would then separate the image into sections that I can work with in separate layers. The base outline comes in useful when i want to create another shape within the main outline and with the use of a pathfinder I am left with the desired shape instead of tracing over the same lines many times.

I have found that blending colour or tones is not an easy thing to achieve when going for a more “realistic” look, this is specially important when creating shadows and lighting or just a change of tones. Because of this I kind of have to change my style of drawing to suit techniques more achievable using Illustrator.

After deciding to go with the Virgin Mary design for my cover page, I wanted to look at different illustration techniques that people achieve using Adobe Illustrator. I have always been inspired by the illustrations made for the Grand Theft Auto gaming series by the Stephen Bliss and Anthony Macbain the two leading artist of Rockstar Games.

Stephen Bliss started as an in-house designer and artist at Hysteric Glamour fashion company based in Tokyo, after he returned to London in 1989 to become a freelance illustrator. He has had his work published in GQ, Time, Arena, Sunday Times, Time Out, The Face, I.D, The face, Vogue and Creative Review.

He has designed for Burton Snowboards, BMG Records, Sony, Nintendo, Pepsi, MTV, Aardman Animation, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and painted an album and CD cover for Massive Attack. (Massive Attack v Mad Professor).

Presently he is the senior artist at Rockstar Games in New York and has worked on games such as  The Warriors, Bully, Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto.

Anthony Macbain is an artist and musician based in New York. He is currently the Director of Illustration at Rockstar Games and has been with the company since 2004. He has created illustrations for the Grand Theft Auto video game series as well as other Rockstar titles such as Bully, and Red Dead Redemption.

More information about them and their work can be found on

Below are some illustrations by them:

GTA V game Midnight Launch
GTA V game Midnight Launch
San Andreas
San Andreas
GTA 5 Characters
GTA 5 Characters


Anthony Macbain and Stephen Bliss (N.D) GTAV_GAME_Midnight_Launch.jpg (1920×1080) [Online Image] Available at: < >

Stephen Bliss (N.D) Stephen bliss [Online] Available at: < >

Anthony Macbain and Stephen Bliss (N.D) gta-5-characters.jpg (1920×1080) [Online Image] Available at: < >

Unknown Author (N.D) STEPHEN BLISS [Online] Available at: <

Unknown Author (N.D) Info : [Online] Available at: <


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