January 3, 2010


Hey all. Hope everyone had a great holiday season. I am looking forward to a great year with great friends, family and artwork. So let's get started.

This week I will be working on an illustration for a cover competition due this coming Sunday.......YIKES, talk about procrastination. Well I haven't done this in a while so I thought I'd breakdown my process for this piece.

1) Lets start off with the brief: there was none, the only thing I had to consider was that this image is for a fantasy/sci-fi magazine. With that in mind, before I even start drawing I try to think of a story or theme for my image. I wanted to juxtapose a hi-tech situation in a low tech environment similar to a look and feel from the film District 9. I also wanted to carry elements from past illustrations like kids, bears and maybe an ice cream cone.

Here are my first comps for the illustration.
So having a good idea I just start breaking down the composition and structure of the piece into big shapes, nothing super specific just yet. I know I wanted an abandoned shack and some type of bear mech. My first story was that the kid are playing at lunch with this big bear mech. You can see after the comps how I start to work out some preliminary sketches for the kids.

Here is another page of comps and trying to figure out positioning of the kids.
In the comp you can see I have decided to zoom in on the image a little more. Instead of a flat picture I also decided to can the structure a little more so there is a little more movement in the image. Again, you can see me working out the shapes in my characters, these were feeling a bit too serious and grown up so again, I needed to work out more studies.

Below is one of the comps I chose to push further.
I felt that the previous comps were lacking energy, everything was straight up and down and I wanted to push more gesture and S-curves into the whole image. Its similar to life drawing, even in design everything has a gesture so I wanted to make sure that there was an overall dynamic gesture in the composition. Having decided on that I next started to move on to more character studies. Some of the shapes and faces on these page are starting to lean towards the feel I wanted to hit. Especially the last study of the guy eating noodles, I pretty much used that sketch as a basis for the stylization I wanted these characters to be in.

Next post I will give more character studies and will hopefully have the lineart for the illustration completed by then as well.

Stay tuned!

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