By and large I'm relaxed about being self taught but ongoing learning adds to a constant sense of always trying to catch up. I'm keen to learn more from others both creatively and technically.
For me the very best way to learn is to watch others work. I'm happy to unpick my own process and throw it into the mix if it helps. If it does nothing but show someone how not to do something then I've helped.
Here I'm looking to create a spot and quarter page illustration to accompany a magazine article. The article provides a list of tips and suggestions for activities that will help keep chickens healthy and happy during the colder months.
This one was just trying to figure out the character of the ‘coach’ or instructor. I liked this approach with these sketches but he still looked a bit goofy, not a look I wanted. Still, this page gave me the start of the pose and also gave me the idea of the bat and ball as part of the quarter illustration.
I looked at some fun playground activities which might work with an illustrated chicken. I kept away from trying to illustrate a real chicken and real items as per the article. I thought giving each chicken character and different identities might add to the fun of the piece. This page included the start of a sketch for the coach in the spot. I wanted to identify him as the bird calling the shots/giving instructions. In the same way that the article was. I couldn’t initially come up with a device to show him as the leader apart from a cap with the word ‘coach’. I thought this made the character look too dumb and that wasn’t the point. This sketch included elements that I didn’t have room to use and they had to be left out. The swing was one but my favourite was a piece of riding apparatus in the shape of a fox.
Some extra working through ideas. The football coach style blackboard felt right to add to the instructional element which would combine well with the megaphone.
Above are the final line drawings for both illustrations. Below are the final illustrations which i colored using a combination of pencil and brush tools in Sketchbook Pro using my Wacom Intuos Pen Tablet. Digital drawing with these tools means that it feels like a continuation of the natural drawing process.