Illustration Process: Astronaut

For this illustration I composed a set of thumbnails trying to pin down the mood and composition.

After deciding on the second one, I then shot some photo reference for the head and cataloged space suit reference for the body. While the initial thumbnail had a light figure on a dark background, I decided to switch that concept in the value study.

Up until this point, the process has been dominantly digital. I did use pencil to sketch out the thumbnails, but developing the values was faster to work out in Photoshop. For the final, however, I pulled some textures from my previous oil paintings and incorporated them into the background. For me, this variety brought back a bit of interest that would have been lacking had I gone completely digital.

It feels great to get a better understanding of the digital medium, however, I don’t think I’ll be letting go of the traditional tools anytime soon. There’s a human proneness to error and variety that I see and value from working in such a way.