All right, I’ve fallen off the blog again. I have some pretty good reasons, but they’re all the same boring ones: work, work, work. But! I’m halfway through this next major illustration project, so I can finally take a break for another behind-the-scenes post about process. This makes for a good follow-up to my last post as the drawing style followed a similar process for all the panels.
For this project, I’m creating ten drawings for a somewhat magical-realist novel in which the main character takes photos on her phone. In this first image, the narrator sneaks a shot of her husband playing his favorite online fantasy game, which features flying dragons and a steampunk zeppelin. While I knew this would be a lot of work and require producing three images–the laptop screen inside the room scene, nested in the frame of the smartphone–I was secretly thrilled about the prospect of dragons.
Once upon a time, I drew many dragons and unicorns. Yes, I was that kind of kid.
Anyway, it was fun to look up pictures of dragons and zeppelins and figure out how to assemble the thing. Naturally, I started off with the initial line work.
I brought the dragons into Illustrator as I knew I’d be moving and resizing them around a lot and wanted to work with vector images.
Then I bring all this into Photoshop. The clouds were done with custom brushes. The moon is an actual photo of the moon with lighting effects.
Then I spent another hour or so rendering the zeppelin.
Once the screen image was done, I started the second drawing in pencil and ink. After a quick, clean-up in Illustrator, I brought the lines into Photoshop.
Then I drop the screen shot in, render with other textures, and finally create an exterior of the phone to encapsulate the whole thing.
The client, however, wanted the image to be bigger, so I zoomed in on the screen a bit more (top image). The fingers are off to the side so you still get a sense of what’s going on.
And that’s it for Image #1. Only nine more to go!