I really loved creating this portrait illustration of Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk.
The portrait had to capture Chantal’s personality, but also to show the places and vibe mentioned in the piece as a background. “Being at the lake in Ontario’s cottage country is particularly special for me. My summer cannot go by without a visit to the woods and rock of Ontario, particularly my family’s spot near Haliburton. It’s a home base for us, though visits to friends’ homes in Muskoka, near Georgian Bay and at Lake Joseph are inevitable, too.”
The process work for this illustration involved creating 3 sketches that I showed to the Art Director. Nature and people are two of my favourite things to draw, so this assignment gave me the opportunity of combining these elements in a non realistic way.
Below you can see the 3 ideas that I had for this assignment.
Once a final sketch was chosen, I developed the final. For this assignment I drew the entire illustration in pencil. I use a combination of Derwent graphic pencils ranging from 2B to 4B. For finer details I use a Staedller mechanical pencil with a 0.7 mm HB lead. Below you can see the various stages of the drawing rendering. I like working in pencil as I get to control the various shades of grey and I get a very interesting, almost retro look once I allow for the pencil work to come through in the final illustration.
Once the drawing is complete, I scan it in the computer and make final edits in Adobe Photoshop then I take the artwork in Adobe Illustrator to add color. I usually create a few options of the vector color so that I can have a few options and layer these later in Photoshop. Final magic always happens in Photoshop, where I layer the vector color variations I created, as well as textures and other elements. I love doing this as it creates various moods in the illustration, especially the whimsical feel and almost nostalgic/retro. Some of the drawing qualities of the initial scan tend to get lost in this stage, but I always try to bring those elements back or sometimes it works leaving them suggested rather than having the same color range all around the artwork.