Blog posted by Ste Pickford on Fri, 24 Mar 2017
I’m really happy with this finished illustration. It’s probably my favourite one of the whole set. It was the first one where all the inking looked right, without any amateurish or wonky bits. There’s nothing in the drawing that makes me cringe when I look at it, which is a rarity.
I’m particularly pleased with the ‘galaxy of spilt jism’ at the top. It looks like something that could have been drawn by one of my heroes, the great Hunt Emerson.
Before starting Chapter 5 I’d actually jumped ahead and drawn most of the faces for the later illustrations. The faces were really easy and fun to draw, perhaps only taking an hour or two each (compared to several days for the backgrounds), and were a quick way of saying to myself I was nearly done, as every illustration was arguably 50% complete with the face done (in space filled at least).
I dug through a box of old pre-digital photographs I’d taken, mostly on nights out in the early ‘90s, for reference for some of the faces, but that only gave me three or four I could use. I needed more! Social media came to my rescue, which is appropriate considering the content of the book - I found my missing faces through the screen.
I spent a couple of weeks on the lookout for any portraits posted by people I knew on Facebook or Twitter that might work for a chapter in the book, then in each case had to send what must have been a very strange message asking for permission to use their photo to draw a distorted portrait of them for a book illustration. Everybody I asked was kind enough - and brave enough - to give me permission in advance, even though none of them would see the results until the book was published months later.
The gorgeous, sneering face completing this illustration is that of a long-time internet friend who I’ve never actually met in real life - so somebody I only know through the screen. I hope she wasn’t too horrified by the end result.
Click the 'Predecessor post' link below to see the pencil version.
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