June 21, 2009

Southern Breeze Illustration Contest

It's finally finished! I've been working hard for the past three weeks or so on my submission for the Southern Breeze 2009 Illustration Contest. We were given the prompt, "PJ reached in and..." and were asked to finish the sentence with a creative illustration. I wrote out a TON of ideas for how to complete the prompt, but I decided to go with an idea that my wife really loved:

"PJ reached in and thought he saw something hiding behind the baseball."

The idea is that PJ is out playing a game of baseball with some friends, and the kid at bat hits a good one way out of the park. PJ, who's playing in the outfield, has to then search through the woods to find the ball. He comes across a fallen tree, and something draws him closer to look there for the ball. When he looks down a hollow branch, he sees the ball... and something else hiding behind it!

Once I got the idea together, I started the painting process. First, I drew out the illustration on acrylic paper, traced the lines with a Sharpee, then taped the paper to a board on my easel:

Next, I covered the whole image with a layer of gel medium, and then a dark brown glaze layer for my underpainting. Once both dried, I started blocking in the painting with basic colors:

From there, I built up the painting in layers, adding more details to give form to the figures, working with highlights and shadows, etc:

I reworked PJ's facial expression and the shadow on his hand a few times as well as the color of the little critter's fur and cape before I felt satisfied with the piece. Here's the final product!

Click here to see last year's winners!

1 comment:

lisa0901 said...

The illustration is great! You peaked our interest and we want to know what PJ does next. Perhaps a full length animated picture is in order! We like the way you explained how you did the work.
Lisa and Greg