Parasite Illustration for Answers Magazine ………. (part 2)

Yesterday I shared with you three concept sketches for an illustration about parasites for the 2013 Jan-Mar issue of Answers Magazine, the quarterly publication of Answers In Genesis. If you guessed that the sketch of the sports fanatic was chosen you would have been correct.

Murphy’s Law dictated that the red sketch had to be chosen because it was the one that had the most detail in it. I love detail because it is fun to look at, but at the same time, I loathe it because it is pretty time consuming to pull off. The art director also loved the detail, but wanted some of that detail changed. Below you can see the first version of the scene again (it is the same as in yesterday’s post), and then the altered version so you can see what changes were made. I drew these in Photoshop on the computer, so breaking parts off and changing them is a little easier to do than if it had been drawn on paper.


Parasite Illustration
This was the first version of the sketch. Notice the food on the table are cookies and chips and soda. 
Hungry Beast
Some of the bagged junk food has now changed to more elaborate junk food like pizza, hot dogs, and fried chicken. Apparently parasites don’t care about cholesterol.


Now, the above is still just a concept drawing. While most of the detail is present, this is in no way ready for final art. The next step is to do a final “pencil” drawing to tie down everything as it will look in the final. The art director needs to see the final tight drawing before he can give the approval for the illustrator to move forward into final color. The drawing below is the final drawing, again created on the computer for ease in making any edits to the design. This time they liked it as is.


Parasite illustration drawing
This is the final drawing created for the magazine’s approval before moving into the color stage.


You can see how the final drawing really hasn’t changed much, but all the details are made clearer – some are even new additions. Once approved, then the toughest part begins – creating the final painting. Many of my illustration colleagues create their final art completely on the computer these days. I have done that now and then, but for the most part I prefer to make a real watercolor painting with colored pencil accents. There is something about the real painting that computers cannot completely replicate – kind of a handmade feel to them. I almost always can tell when a “painting” was done on the computer as opposed to paper or canvas.

That being said, I will create my own personal color composite of the piece on the computer, especially for something as complicated as this. It helps to make those color choices where you can erase and redo. Watercolor on paper is not easily undone.

I don’t usually show the color comp to anyone because it is sloppy. It is just something to aid in my process, and won’t necessarily be precisely followed in the painting. So, here is the rare peek…


rough color comp
My personal color comp. This was where I decided to make the floor wooden. You can see crop lines in there to indicate the printed area of the illustration, but one must ALWAYS paint in a generous “bleed” area around the image in case the client needs to shift it or change the dimensions they originally planned for.


Tomorrow I’ll share with you the final painting along with a couple of “in progress” moments!