Vignettes: Environments Part 2

Thomas Eccles is a freelance illustrator based out of Melbourne, Australia.

Looking at some excellent artwork by Eccles I soon realized that he makes frequent use of implied backgrounds by using an illustration concept known as a vignette.

Check out the full post to learn more about vignettes and implied backgrounds.


John Shelley over at Words & Pictures gives a good definition and example of vignettes:

Vignettes are illustrations with faded or loosely defined edges. The loose edges incorporate the white of the surrounding page to give the image space, lightness and draw the viewer into the scene.


Bleed refers to part of an illustration that runs off the page edges, ‘full bleed‘ means an image that entirely fills the page and is cropped by the trim. Nowadays very many picture books are full bleed throughout, however it’s particularly effective when suddenly brought into play for the most dramatic and panoramic images.

An example Shelley gives by artist Axel Scheffler featuring a full bleed illustration on the left and vignettes on the right:


Let’s get back to examples by Eccles:


In the example above, Eccles uses a few different treatments with a limited number of details/elements: mud, grass, rocks, clovers, rain drops.

In the example below, Eccles creates small stage dressed with more detail for his three part gag to play out:


In the comic below, Eccles creates a full panel establishing shot that sets up the gag featuring an alien bug.


In this example, Eccles ends the comic with a full bleed panel with a birds-eye point-of-view (POV):


Some more examples of comics by Thomas Eccles:

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Fall 2017 Update: Vignette Drawing Video

Demonstration Video: I’ve taken the Bo Peep character from an earlier post and created a vignette:


Basic Shapes and Loose Underdrawing:


Detail Layer:


Final Line Art:


Line Art + Shading: