The Aerozopher's Illustration Checklist

This is my checklist in which I have collected all my knowledge.

I think using this list could improve your attention to the span of tools in your hands.

Please be aware, that the list builds upon your knowledge and experience, which means you can work through this checklist and think you really heeded everything while you didn't.

Of course a good illustration doesn't have to meet all these points. It would be absolute overkill to use all the list in a single illustration.
Certainly it depends on your style and the illustration's purpose.
This is merely a list of the visual tools available.



      The eye stays inside the composition

      All the format is used (does not necessarily mean being filled)


      Shapes fit the nature of the illustrated

      Elements overlap and create depth

      The negative space is interesting aswell


      The compositional elements create a focus point(s) or keep the eye inside the
      illustration (using implied lines)

      Some contrast is used to create a focus (read more under Elaboration/Contrast)



      The anatomy of the characters is correct (if you aim for fantastic realism)

      The anatomy of creatures makes sense to a certain extent (depends of course)


      Patterns, colors or shapes repeat in some way

      The designs look cool and/or believable but seems to function as well *


      Actions are understandable

      A Story is told *


      The angle is interesting, emphasizing the Illustrated as much as necessary

      The buildings etc are constructed correctly.

      Foreshortening creates even more depth
      (It does not have to be realistic. It just has to look right and remember:
      everything must serve the illustration.)


      The mood fits the illustrated

      The light bounces off materials correctly

      The shadows are placed well (everything must serve the illustration)



      Contrast in saturation

      Contrast in mass

      Contrast in detail

      Contrast in value

      Contrast in quality


      Each material is clearly looking like what it is

      The illustration contains a variety of materials


      The quality fits the purpose / does not impede the purpose

      Shapes are clean except if they shouldn't on purpose

      It is the best you can do


      The characters are recognizable

      Everything is accurate to the Style Guide / Reference / Concepts*

*(Of course only if it is necessary or asked for)

If you have any suggestions please let me know

hail to the circle