Blog posted by Ste Pickford on Mon, 19 Jun 2017
This is the final illustration in the book, although not the last that I drew, and I changed my approach slightly with this one, to reflect the tone of the final chapter of the book.
Instead of dense, overlapping detail, I went for just two background scenes. The top one is supposed to reflect the calm, settled home life of the author (which the progress of the book leads towards), and the bottom one is intended to represent delving into the subconscious, or the inner life of the author, that had been explored in the previous chapters of the book.
I’ve skipped showing my pencils for the divers at the bottom, as there’s nothing especially revealing there, but I’ve shown the photo reference here to explain how I used it.
I had a clear image in my head of an underwater view of the surface of the ocean, with the light radiating from the centre, but couldn’t find any reference that matched this exactly, so I just picked something that was the closest I could find and used that as a rough guide for the kind of patterns the light on the surface of the water makes. I then drew radiating circles from the centre of the image which would be my guide for the direction of the actual surface waves and shadows when I inked them on top of the photo.
For the top photo, I cheekily looked up Pat's address at the time he wrote the book, and tried to find a google street view image of his house, which I thought would be a funny surprise, but google street view coverage stopped before his house so I couldn’t get one. Instead I looked around and found something in the area where he lived, so at least the landscape and vegetation and local architecture would look right. Again I used to radiating circles as a guide for the shading when I came to inking the drawing (there was no pencil stage for the background), so that both the top and bottom images would subtly point towards the centre.
Click the 'Follow up post' link below to see the next stage.
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