May MATS assignment: Faces & People

I'm back, working on our May 'Make Art that Sells' course with Lilla Rogers after having April off from the class. During the month off I got to do a really neat illustration assignment for one of my regular clients. I will show it on my blog once it goes 'live' to the public.

This month for MATS our assignment was to draw faces & people! Lilla gave us some photos of dolls to draw from first because drawing actual, real life people can be a bit daunting. I was so swamped with work, I never got to the dolls, but instead I started drawing faces—fun, silly and all different shapes and sizes.

After the first week of sketching, we got our assignment which was to create an illustration for editorial use—specifically an illustration for a magazine to go with this article on meditation. Lilla gave us lots of great tips on how to come up with ideas for our illustration such as: writing down a list of items that come to mind while reading the story, taking mental 'snapshots' of scenes, making it tell a story, and paying attention to the title and subheads in particular.

I read the story and did some sketches in the sunshine on the patio, enjoying a margarita and good company.

The subhead 'Diving Deeper' in the story resonated with me and I liked the idea of how through mediation you explore your subconscious while your "mind's eye" wanders. I liked the swimming and water imagery.

In my sketches I had the woman's face straight on, but I thought it would be more interesting in profile. I did a fairly quick pencil sketch and then scanned it into the computer to play with color and textures.

Here is a series of shots of my process:

 Original sketch:

I prefer hand drawn type and it's imperfections over a font. I use a pen with a brush tip on a piece of tracing paper of the drawing to figure out how I want it to look and then scan it into Photoshop.

Blocking in color and figuring our color palette in Photoshop. I use 'paths' to create all of the shapes on many separate layers and then fill with color and mask in textures. 

Adding detail:

Mostly blocked out, now working on figuring out the balance of the imagery.

Figuring out background. I felt like the splatters were a bit too busy:

And this is the final image. I'm really happy with it and felt like it came together pretty quickly. Our final tip from Lilla was to try a blue inspired color palette which luckily I already have done! MATS  is teaching me to work more efficiently and enjoy the process—not stressing out over it, because as Lilla says, 'Have fun! People buy your joy!'