Envato Tuts+ Design and Illustration Instructor


Since September 2014 I have been fortunate enough to be an author for Tuts+ Design & Illustration

Below are snippets of the tutorials I have written and illustrated for Tuts+ which I have loved creating!

Here’s a link to my Tuts+ Author’s page

"Rowena is a valued part of the Tuts+ Design & Illustration instructors team. She’s able to confidently and professionally provide content on specific themes and occasions for our millions of readers. She hits deadlines and is always available to answer any questions our readers may have. I have no hesitation in recommending her as an illustrator and educational author."

− Sharon Milne - Design & Illustration Editor, Tuts+

The Art of Children’s Illustration – Course

rowena aitken illustration children book Egypt mummy discovery dog pyramid

Publication Date: 30th November 2016

A children’s illustrator is one of those lovely jobs that many of us daydream about; who wouldn’t want to spend their days holed up in a studio conjuring up funny, heartwarming sketches and brainstorming ideas for a story? Well, this course will give you a head start in this very competitive field. You’ll discover how to work from a brief, and you’ll learn about composition, character development, light and shadow, and much more.

How to Design a Children’s Book: Cover and Internal Pages

rowena aitken ruan the little red squirrel

Publication Date: 21st October 2016

Hello and welcome to my tutorial on how I went about making my first published children’s book, Ruan The Little Red Squirrel by Rachel McGaw.

This tutorial will cover the creation of the cover and a double-page spread using Adobe InDesign CS6 and Adobe Photoshop CS6. This will be more of a theory of creating a book and working with a publisher or author than a painting tutorial. Read More

How to Create Organic Textures for the Scarecrow in Adobe Photoshop

Scarecrow childrens illustration complete textures tuts+

Publication Date: 23rd October 2015

“Here’s something I just cob-bled together. It was a-maize-ingly fun and I have a veritable corn-ucopia of Photoshop brush tricks to help you add texture to your illustrations. If you’ll lend me your ear I’ll show you how! Read More

Quick Tip: Quick Tip: How to Create Depth of Field in Adobe Photoshop

Depth Of Field Dragon Tuts Plus Tuts+ Complete

Publication Date: 30th July 2015

“Sometimes our artwork can look a bit flat and two-dimensional, but there is a quick fix for this! I will show you how using Photoshop’s default soft brush (with a few minor tweaks) and Layer Masks, you can create the illusion of depth of field in your artwork Read More

Quick Tip: Create Dynamic Poses Using Gesture Drawing

Publication Date: 10th June 2015

“Characters looking stiff? Illustrations repeating the same old poses? Animation looking boring? Fret not, I have a cure! Dynamic gesture drawing is a great way to really loosen up and make your work interesting and more importantly fun!… Read More

Create a Multi-Character Pirate Illustration for Young Children in Adobe Photoshop

Publication Date: 3rd June 2015

“In this tutorial I’ll give a walkthrough of creating a fun, bright multi-character pirate ship aimed at three- to six-year-olds! In this tutorial we will be looking at how to rough out poses, apply colours, draw appealing characters and much more!… Read More

How to Create and Apply a Fish Scale Brush in Adobe Photoshop

Publication Date: 6th April 2015

“Here’s the base illustration of a mermaid and her friend Mr Fishy that I created in Photoshop. Miss Mermaid needs some scales on her tail but I’m too lazy to paint them in by hand, so what can I do to make life easier? Make a brush of course!… Read More

Duplicate a Vintage Drawing Style to Create a Spring Illustration in Adobe Photoshop

Publication Date: 3rd April 2015

“Imagine a client approaches you and says, “I’m looking for a vintage illustration for my product.” Next you think, “How do I create a vintage illustration?” The best thing to do is to gather some reference images of vintage illustrations. If you’re fortunate, your client may have sent you some images they like. So, how do we analyse an image?

First let’s take a look at an example of vintage illustration. This example is fairly typical of the look we are trying to create. Let’s start with the basics: What does a vintage illustration typically depict?… Read More

The second part of this tutorial was created by Mary Winkler which can be seen here.

How to Create Animation Assets in Adobe Photoshop

Publication Date: 18th March 2015

“Welcome to my tutorial on How to Create Animation Assets in Adobe Photoshop. This tutorial will not teach you “how to draw” items specifically. It’s more concerned with how to think about the elements for animation. What does my animator need and why? We’ll cover what Title Safe is, and the importance of correct labelling… Read More

How to Create a Haggis Infographic in Adobe Photoshop

Publication Date: 6th April 2015

“As Burns Night draws in, I feel that the world needs to be educated about the rare and quite delicious creature that is the Haggis (Haggis Haggis in Latin)… Read More

Create a Winter Scene in Adobe Photoshop: The Line Art

Publication Date: 23rd December 2014

“In this tutorial you will learn how to create some fun line art as a basis for a cute winter illustration.

I’ll be collaborating with Melody Nieves. I’ll be creating the line art and Melody will be rendering the scene in Adobe Photoshop.

The brief for our winter-inspired piece is:

“Create a culturally neutral winter scene that shows how warm and cool light sources play off snow. Include three white-coated animals to show how the different light plays off them.”…Read More

Create a Digital Painting of a Zombie From Scratch in Adobe Photoshop

Publication Date: 23rd October 2014

“Our brief, should we choose to accept it, is:

“Create a cartoon zombie and incorporate the letter Z.”
Zombies are awesome, and it is almost Halloween, so of course! As an extra challenge I will be using just two brushes.

To make a very funky-looking cartoon zombie I will be covering my process of taking a brief through to completion, with tips and tricks along the way including the wonder that is clipping masks. I’ll also show the importance of thumbnailing, taking a rough sketch to a final creepy conclusion, line art tricks, and a smattering of colour theory…Read More