There are several techniques or styles of making an illustration. Each of these techniques has its distinctive process and media specially used for creating the illustration. The graphic artist must therefore familiarize himself well with a particular technique before adopting and using it for the production of a graphic design product. Examples of some of the techniques in illustration are:

Pen and wash- This illustration technique involves the drawing of the outlines of the illustration in pencil. Ink is used to go over the drawn outlines in pencil. When it is dried, a small quantity of the ink is diluted with water in a lighter tone. Brush is used to apply the paint at the darker areas of the drawing. The painted areas are washed to create various tones to bring out the forms of the illustration. The outlines are made stronger by the use of pen lines. It is used for catalogues, village and market scenes, fashion design magazines, book covers etc.

Pen and ink, this is the use of pen and ink to draw the outlines of the drawing and using any of the shading methods to bring out the forms in the drawing. It is used for illustrations in books, newspapers and magazines. Flat color painting, in this technique, the colors are painted flat with no gradation in tone. The edges of the sections of the painted drawings are sharp and distinct, setting the difference in the various parts of the drawing. It is used for illustrations in story books, road signs, greeting cards etc. Realistic painting, this is the drawing of objects to show great details as they actually appear in nature. It is used for advertisement, fashion magazine and illustrations in books.

At this point it becomes very important to consider your readership. The type of people that read your illustrative essay may have different backgrounds in terms of know-how and exposure. Therefore, it may prove futile if a writer tries to illustrate a certain concept to his or her reader while using illustrations that the reader may totally be oblivious about. Therefore, the main features of writing any illustrative research paper firstly include the conceptualization of the idea or concept that is to be illustrated within the illustration essay. After clearly forming a mental picture, the author of the illustration essay should try to conceptualize the best possible illustration that can create a vivid and clear mental picture in the reader of his or her work.

The illustration chosen should befit the readership, for example if the illustration essay is meant for a third grade student peer review it should have illustrations that a third grader should be able to relate to his or her daily environmental encounters. This the most important part of writing an illustration research paper or an illustration essay. After this conceptualization of the illustration, the author of the illustration essay should try to carefully select the words that can best help the reader in creating a mental picture of what is being illustrated.