Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Picture within the Picture

As I work on an illustration as complex as this, I tend to break it up into smaller segments. This serves a couple of purposes; it breaks up the picture into bite size chunks and allows me to focus in a particular area so that I don't feel rushed to complete large swaths of the picture. There is also that important sense of accomplishment when even a small piece of the picture is completed to satisfaction. However, it is important when doing this to integrate the smaller pieces seamlessly into the larger whole; that the style, contrast, etc... are the same across the picture. As you look at the previous post with progression of the illustration, you can see the areas that I focused on. As I move along through the drawing I periodically step back to get an overview of the drawing and I will go back and work over previously "completed" areas if there is some sort of inconsistency. Another way to get a fresh view of the drawing is to look at it in a mirror; if something looks out of whack in the mirror, it probably looks out of whack to a new viewer too. Breaking up the picture into smaller units also prevents me from getting bored; working on a particular area for a long time can be tedious and I find it refreshing to move to a different part of the drawing to work on a fresh effect using different strokes. Completing something with this level of detail takes patience and care and these tricks will help to create a good final result.


Mark Alan Meader said...

This one is coming along really well... very impressive. It's interesting to watch the progress step by step, rather than just the finished product.
I think people tend to look at something like this after it's finished and say: "That's nice", without any concept of what went into creating it; hopefully they can appreciate it more by seeing the process.

D. Hawks said...

Mark, my intent has been to describe to others the process of doing an illustration like this, but at the same time I am discovering it is rather self-instructive too. I have never before tried to put into words a description of what it is that I do. Now that I am, I am also learning something.

Lynn said...

That's absolutely gorgeous!