Los Amores de Frida

I was asked to prepare a set of illustrations for an article about Frida Kahlo written by Desireé Torres and published by Aire, a magazine edited by Aeromexico and Grupo Expansión. Five illustrations are originals pencil drawings remastered and colored in Adobe Photoshop with Wacom Cintiq.



I think it comes from anywhere anytime, when I’m working on a commission or on a personal project, I find inspiration for this project in the stage of research and moodboards, based usually in nature elements, I’m inspired by plants, trees, textures and woman figure. There is something in this “on the mood” stage, when I’m drinking a coffee or just reading, when something makes “clic”, then I hurry up to make some sketches, notes or doodles… after that I just try to make the artwork to come alive, line over line or digital brushstrokes and a lot of layers.

My Favorite medium is always pencil drawing on paper, second, ink on paper, third, apply digital color in Adobe Photoshop to pencil drawings and ink drawings. I came up to the graphic editor with some sketches with this rough style, mixing pencil on paper and digital color, she loved the style, so I just worked and clean up the compositions under this style. The color scheme is based in some paints of Frida.


Illustration started like some sketches and a pencil drawing, that was made with Staedtler Mars Lumograph Graphite Pencil 3H on A3 Fabriano Academia paper (120g). I scanned the original pencil drawing in two parts without automatic adjustments but with high resolution. In Adobe Photoshop I ensambled the image then I made some adjustments, first I desaturate the image and adjusted Levels to have more intense black in the lines of the drawing. Then I colored and shaded in some layers in Adobe Photoshop with Wacom Cintiq 13HD.






“Los Amores de Frida” has had a big impact bigger than I expected, that kind of work it’s precisely the kind of work I totally love doing. So it’s fair to say that I’m honestly interested in make more projects like this one.

We made this project in two weeks. It was a lot of work for a short deadline, as usual in the editorial industry. 🙂

Thanks for reading.

Tavo Montañez

My name is Gustavo Díaz Montañez (Tavo Montañez).
I work and live in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
I am an illustrator working mostly for clients in Editorial,
but also Publishing, Media and Advertising.

My process usually involves drawing
with pencil or ink on paper and digital coloring.