Some time last year I was commissioned by the U.K publishing house Real Reads to illustrate one of their new books, The Awakening. They'd seen the work I did for James Caskey's Haunted History of New Orleans: Ghosts of the French Quarter which included a series of illustrations taking place in a setting similar to that of The Awakening. Suddenly I had a flashback to my time as a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design, "Draw what you'd like to get hired for" my professors said. Anyways, this intro is getting a little too long for my liking so here's my process:
At this point my only thought should have been composition, the more defined sketches are just me getting ahead of myself. I get overly excited and often draw ahead past the important steps which in the end can give you more work than needed, if that failed drawing in the upper left is any indication. Next step, finding my references, I'm still extremely young in my career so I can't afford to hire models just yet (although I can't wait for the day I can) so my alternative? Suckers... I mean friends.
I kept my sketches looser than usual because I was wary of copying the reference a little too much, I wanted the finals to be lighter and more stylized taking into consideration that the audience was a younger one, but once they were all drawn and approved I could go to the big show, final illustrations.
All in all I had a pretty fun ride with this commission. All together I did about 26 Illustrations that went into the book, it felt like a lot more. Feel free see the rest of Real Read's collection at: http://realreads.co.uk/ .
Thanks for Reading, Stephen Davis Illustration.