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Expertise 1 - Thumbelina

Master Intermedial Design - Expertise 1 - Nature Illustration with Mauricio Sosa Noreña.


I took part in the Expertise module by Mauricio Sosa Noreña last week. The theme of the class was “Nature Illustration” and we were all asked to bring in a text that suited this theme. After doing our first watercolor practises, we’d later on illustrate our chosen text. Everyone attending had different skill levels in watercolors so I think it was good we all went through the basics first.

Class Requirements

The aim of the week was to create (at least) 3 illustrations based on the text:

-1 poster

-1 spread (an illustration accompanied by the text on a double page)

-1 keyword concept art

First Ideas

The text I chose was the fairytale “Thumbelina” by the Danish author Hans Christian Anderson. I started off by creating a mindmap. Since so many different elements came to my mind there, I decided to summarize the main characters and settings in my mood board.


Concept sketches

Since I was still flooded with ideas and didn’t know where to start, I thought it would be good to design the main characters of the story first.


Keyword Illustration

I thought I still needed a bit of watercolor practise before I make the bigger illustrations, so I decided to make my keyword concept art next. I chose a scene where Thumbelina is placed on a lonely lily pad by a toad. I drew the plants and elements that were mentioned in the original story.


The Spread and Poster

Even though we all began with watercolors, we were given the option to create our final illustrations with any medium we like. I decided to work with mixed media for my spread and poster – with watercolors and digitally.

Firstly, here are sketches I made for the spread and poster:


I chose a more dynamic composition for the poster that would also feature a lot of characters. The image is supposed to summarize the story. For the spread I chose the same scene as I did for the keyword concept. In the final spread you'll see how I included tiny pictures of the keyword sheet, as I thought this would resemble the look of a children's book.

The process for the spread and poster:


The final illustrations:



Intermediales Design

Art des Projekts

Studienarbeit im Masterstudium


foto: Mauricio Sosa Noreña

Zugehöriger Workspace

EXP 1 - Natural illustration based on texts


Wintersemester 2021 / 2022