This week’s Illustration Friday assignment was “edge”.
It’s a good thing I buckled down and got an early start; this one did not come quickly. It began on Saturday. Additional sessions on Sunday and today were necessary to bring this one to a satisfactory state:
I considered a few other approaches before landing on this one, including a way-too-clever one of a person drawing a boat on a map right up to the edge of the paper.
Yuck. The image of a couple of kids looking over an edge went through a couple of iterations before the final composition was reached. Here’s a previous sketch where the vantage point is below the main subjects:
The benefits to this direction is that some facial expression is possible. I found myself asking the question “what are they looking at?” So they ended up on top of a building, where they probably aren’t supposed to be.
Another early concept included a billboard instead of the full scene below:
The billboard is just blocked in, since it was abandoned early. It would have been a lot easier to finish this version. The other benefit of the billboard is that it doesn’t distract from the edge that was the point of this illustration in the first place. The final version has almost too much going on. Oh well.
The composition ( the way the various elements are arranged or come together on the page) works… but it’s a bit… quirky. The points of interest are dispersed oddly throughout the picture, and the coloring, while not entirely random, is a strange combination of full-color and grayscale. I had fun drawing the various characters and structures from this extreme angle.
I tackled a few other new challenges on this piece. First, I tried out a new color scheme. It was inspired by a picture by another illustrator, Daniel Ursache, who frequently posts on Illustration Friday. My urban scene doesn’t come close to replicating the fantastic sense of this guy’s work, or even the same color relationships, but it was a great point of departure.
The squiggly lines were another approach stolen from different artist. This time it was Dutch illustrator, Rob Doeslaar, whose blog I could gaze at for hours on end. Here’s a view of “Over the Edge” with some of the colors and details removed, where the squiggles really get to shine.
It has a cool sort-of-abstract feel to it this way. A similar approach was used in my “Snow Boots” picture, here. This is just one more way of getting texture and pattern into my pieces, which is especially helpful if you want digital works not to look like cartoons.
Please let me know your thoughts on this illustration.