Animals Illustration Friday

Illustration Friday: Phobia (Acrophobia)

Phobia (Acrophobia)

UPDATE: This illustration was sold to and published in Cedar Wings, the inflight magazine of Middle East Airlines, AirLiban, Issue #99.

This week’s prompt for Illustration Friday is the word “Phobia.” I have a pretty bad fear of heights, though I wouldn’t call it a phobia since it doesn’t prevent me from being in high places. It just makes me feel a little sick. Standing on the edge of cliffs always makes me feel like there is a powerful gravitational force pulling me off the edge (my stomach starts churning just thinking about it). Driving up steep hills I feel afraid the car is going to fall off backwards–I have nightmares about this occasionally–and it too makes my stomach churn. Maybe it has to do with my being tall–which always makes the ground seem far away?

I did this entirely in Painter, first sketching on the Wacom tablet using a digital pencil and then drawing with digital ink on another layer, then painting with the the digital airbrush because I haven’t learned how to use the other brushes yet. When I saved the file as a Photoshop file and looked at it on my other computer that is color callibrated, the colors were way off again. So I resaved the file in Painter as a jpg and the colors saved OK (not perfect though–the white clouds are pink and I had to adjust the color of the green land because it was too lime green). But little by little I’m learning how to work with this fun new art tool.

Tomorrow, Saturday, September 22 is the 10th International Sketchcrawl. I’m planning to go to the SF crawl and should have some sketches from SF and Sausalito to post tomorrow (if I’m not too tired tomorrow night!)


25 replies on “Illustration Friday: Phobia (Acrophobia)”

Hi Jana! This is really cute! I love your work and I’m promoting it in my website! There is a post about you but it’s in Portuguese! I hope you don’t mind…Greetings from Brazil! Erika 😉


Giraffy looks like he’s about to teeter over the edge! Sounds like you’re having fun with Painter. That’s right. You can’t carry the RIF file on over to PS. I think you can save it in layers as an EPS or another PS file (again, so you don’t loose the layers).

Thanks for the reminder about SketchCrawl Saturday. I think I’ll give it a whirl and see how it goes. But rather than devote the day to sketching, I think I might just heavily incorporate it my routine. You have fun with your SF group!


You really expressed it well, Jana. I, too, am afraid of heights so I understand exactly your various feelings about it. Hey — my son wants a Wacom tablet ever since I told him about it and it’s his 12th birthday on Tuesday. Any feedback/suggestions? We don’t have a lot of money to spend.


I’m following with interest your experiments with Painter. What fun it is to see. I just wish I could have an implant of the part of your brain that knows these things! This is a wonderful illustration.


I’m trying to learn Painter as well. Your picture looks great. I wish I could say the same about my “change” entry that I never finished….
Thanks for sharing your process.


I have this same fear, but couldn’t quite picture how to illustrate it. t may be partly because I’m working on a tiny LIbretto with a screen smaller than my hand and could imagine my cliff fitting in there–but YOURS did! LOL! Very nicely done and evocative of the scary churning feeling. This is a relatively new fear for me, and it think it relates to my aging and my loss of physical ability and balance. NICE WORK. I want to get a tablet, but have been wavering about the details and kind.


I ask a lot but you don’t have to answer…. Do you use the latest version of Painter??? [YES] Has it improved anything.

My old version was difficult to learn and I Still don’t know how it works… It is MYSTERIOUS.

Also…. a Macinosh or a Windows computer???

Teh rendering is so clean, I mean, I don’t see any hesitation on the strokes. Mine show all over.


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