15 September 2008
I had a rather large assignment this past month from the Chronicle of Higher Education. This would be for a special supplement and would require 10 illustrations on various articles all on a similar theme. Once I hit upon the concept of using 'crayons' as a unifying theme, I sent off several ideas to the art director for approval. They liked the ideas, but requested that instead of my usual scratchboard style, they would prefer to see something a little looser and less finished, much like the sketches (many of which I supplied in color this time, just to help sell the idea). This was an interesting experiment. I had only recently begun using the 'pencil' tool as a sketching medium (previously just using the 'scratchboard' pen tip for rough sketches), but I hadn't really tried using pencils in a finishing capacity. I made use of my wacom stylus' 'eraser' tip (which I rarely use), by assigning a 'blending stump' tool to the other end of my 'pencil', and went back and forth with the two, keeping the linework as loose as I dared, and sometimes doing a little light blending and scuffing to emulate the 'rough pencil' look. Finishing off with 'watercolor' to add the needed color, and then adding just a touch of highlights at the end with the pencil and blender again. These turned out quite nice, and I may experiment a bit more with this style in the future. Perhaps pushing the 'looseness' a bit more, as I tend to stiffen up when faced with new and unfamiliar territory.