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Modern Myth Illustrations

Ink Wash Illustration, Alex Rowe
Alex Rowe, Illustrator & Children's Book Artist

Alex Rowe
Illustrator & Children’s Book Artist

♪ Alex’s Studio Playlist ♪

Choose a myth and illustrate it in a contemporary setting. Characters and elements of the story must be recognizable while being contemporary.

Any 2D color media: watercolor, colored pencil, soft pastels, etc. A supply list for ink wash is here.


Choose a myth you want to illustrate (Example shows the Minotaur and Labyrinth)

Research the myth.

Brainstorm and sketch to make the story contemporary.  

Ink Wash Illustration, Alex Rowe
Ink Wash Illustration, Alex Rowe

Pencil in the image onto your final surface, based on a sketch.

Ink Wash Illustration, Alex Rowe

Outline the image with a Rapidograph pen.

Ink Wash Illustration, Alex Rowe

Erase pencil lines.

Ink Wash Illustration, Alex Rowe

Add ink wash tones. For tips on ink wash tones, watch this tutorial.

Create a wide range of gradients. For more instruction on how to use ink wash, watch this tutorial.

Ink Wash Illustration, Alex Rowe


Clarisse Angkasa, Illustration Student

Clarisse Angkasa
Project Assistant

I chose Cerberus and I had so much fun sketching out different types of dogs. I settled with corgi because I wanted to play with the idea of portraying the watchdog of hell as something super cute.

While I’m pretty sure the three-headed dog is recognizable as Cerberus, I added the dog walker with the skull hoodie to allude to Hades.”

Watercolor Illustration, Clarisse Angkasa
Elsa Hillis

“I decided to illustrate the myth of Atalanta, which I’ve always liked. Long story short, Atalanta, evades marriage by challenging all of her suitors to a footrace with the prize of marriage and the price of death. In my modern version, Atalanta is an contemporary Olympian, surprised to find a golden apple on the track and who realizes that she’s been tricked.”

Modern Myth, Ink Wash Drawing, Elsa Hillis

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