In my last post, I shared with you the preliminary stages of a new illustration I did for the University of Dayton Magazine this past weekend. Getting to do an Indiana Jones type of character was a lot of fun. I enjoy coming up with humorous ideas for things, and in this case it was to make a point about the way our modern Western society holds the mundane in such high, sacred regard. We make idols of the most innocuous things.
If you read the last post, you saw the various thumbnail ideas and the final drawing submitted for approval. Approval had been given, so I moved ahead with the colored piece. This was going to be another of my watercolor/colored pencil hybrids. If you have read my step-by-step posts on the creation of my Where the Wild Things Are tribute painting, or the one a little further back about Frankenstein, then you know I like to do an underpainting to get some of the shadows worked out in advance.
You know, this piece will be reproduced pretty small on the page. It’s important for it to make its point as quickly as possible. The focus of the composition is that baseball, which is why everything points to it in just the bare drawing. The strap, the look of the character, the hand poised just above it…you get the idea. I need the coloring to do the same thing.
So, in this next step a whole bunch of paint has been slathered on the paper with that purple underpainting showing through. To draw your attention to that ball, I painted the watercolor in to look as though it is glowing. the baseball has become the primary light source.
Once the majority of the paint was done, I masked off certain areas and spritzed in some texture on the green background, and also some on the skin. I also deepened the tone of the edges of the green areas. Then whole thing was finished with colored pencils. And yes, I drew on Babe Ruth’s signature – but for accuracy, I traced it from a photo of a baseball he had actually signed.
Thanks for checking out my Indiana Jones inspired editorial illustration. And thanks again to the University of Dayton Magazine for allowing me to share this with you prior to their publication of the piece.