Blog posted by Ste Pickford on Mon, 20 Mar 2017
This is where I confess to cheating. A bit.
Most of the details in the backgrounds of all the Deg illustrations were drawn from my imagination, but there were a few very specific things I needed to draw where I used photo reference. In some cases I would just copy from a photo, but a lot of time what I needed help with was the exact proportions, or the curvature (say with the tea cup) and perspective (with the arched ceiling), which would be very time consuming to work out myself.
For a single drawing - say a comic panel - I’d work out the perspective myself with perspective rulers, drawing in ellipses for the curves, etc., but with so many overlapping details in these illustrations that would have taken me forever. Also, unlike when drawing a comic, it didn’t really matter here if the perspective of the photo reference was slightly out, or didn’t match the other details in the drawing, so I could use the raw photos without redrawing them completely. You can see where I’ve just winged it, drawing the helicopter and the log cabin, but I didn’t want the details for things like the particular model of gun to look wrong, and the eye can easily spot if the curves of a tea cup are slightly out, so I saved myself a lot of time by tracing over photo reference here and there.
I did something similar for each of the subsequent illustrations in the book, but I won’t blog every example as they don’t look very interesting.
Click the 'Predecessor post' link below to see the pencil version.
Click the 'Follow up post' link below to see the finished illustration.