4.4 Artwork

The purpose of the ‘Artwork’ phase

This phase of work is where all of the previous research and ideas come together into finished illustrations.

The outputs are the six double page spreads of the book including illustrations and text.

Each illustration is covered separately.

A video summary

Page 1 – Momento Mori

Momento Mori consisted of two visual components that were digitally combined to create the finished illustration.

  1. The graveyard was initially sketched in pencil and then inked on an A2 lightbox.
  2. The sky was created using a rapid technique involving poster paint, print rollers and spray paint.

Both components were photographed and dropped into the text layout Photoshop file, replacing the thumbnailed placeholder image.

Illustration01 small

Page 2 – The Angel of Death takes the man’s soul

Illustration 2 was a rework of the test illustration created during 4.2 Generate ideas. The composition was slightly changed to allow for the text, but otherwise the elements in the image remained broadly the same.

The image was created using layers of gouache and Inktense colour pencils.

Illustration02 small

Page 3 – A strange masquerade

This was the most challenging illustration to create and took three days to complete. The complexity was caused by the background image that had a lot of perspective lines that needed to be accurately drawn, the characters that needed to be designed, and the painting that was quite an iterative process.

An additional level of complexity was caused by the need to adjust the composition around the two column text layout.

Illustration03 artwork small

Page 4 – Strange birds

Strange birds used the original concept sketches as the basis for the image. I recut these to size and printed them to to scale and then traced on lightbox.

The image was created using the same gouache and colour pencil approach used in the previous illustrations.

Illustration04 artwork small

Page 5 – Sharp stones

Sharp stones consists of an illustration showing an extreme overhead point of view with a long shadow composited over textured spray paint background.

The text design and layout really came into prominence with this page layout, and I enjoyed experimenting with the spiral shaped sentence.

Illustration05 shadow reference
Model used for shadow reference

The illustration was based on model reference.

Illustration05 artwork small

Page 6 – Who are you?

The final illustration combined a rapid technique that used a broad nibbed Posca pen to create the angel silhouette, and a model drawing of a masked doll for the foreground figure.

Illustration06 process01

Because the drama and dynamic of the image was partly based on the heavily backlit figure casting a shadow over the man/doll character, I decided to do the spot blacks digitally. This gave me more control and room to experiment.

The spoken text was another experiment in using text as a dynamic visual component within the illustration.

Illustration06 artwork small


Illustration 3 – A strange masquerade was a bit of a struggle. I spent quite a bit of time adjusting the image layout to work with the four column text. In hindsight, I wonder whether making these adjustments, particularly reducing the size of the foreground figure, weakened the composition.

The background colour of Illustration 3 was not dark enough to carry the text. The is a lesson to take forward. This has been added to the DOD here.


%d bloggers like this: