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Bēhance

  • Illustration of a leopard attack in Zimbabwe for the November issue of "Euroman," a Danish magazine. The article recounts the sobering experience of a hunter brutally mauled in pursuit of the wounded leopard; this illustration captures the moment just before the animal struck. 
  • Process
    I also wanted to share my process for creating the final illustration - check out some of my steps below.
  • Concept sketches for pitch to client. Did smaller thumbnails first, added some tone, then did a larger version of each for more detail.
  • Composition & reference. Going ahead with Concept 2, I expand on the detailed sketch in Photoshop with the final print dimensions in mind, building reference and ironing out the basic composition before laying out the final drawing.
  • Layout sketch. Using the grid I created earlier, I transfer the composition onto my stretched watercolor paper and make a complete layout drawing. Much of the detail disappears when painted, however it helps me paint more quickly and confidently.
  • Mid-painting. Establishing large sections of the composition as I begin painting, I have to be strategic with building detail in watercolor, especially with the leopard spots, as I don't want the details to get muddied by the shadows.
  • Finished watercolor. I'm really happy with the look of the piece, but know I want to achieve more of a atmospheric glow and emphasize the dry landscape.
  • Final illustration. After bringing it into Photoshop, I'm able to adjust the colors and levels to better evoke the narrative, and add some juicy details, all without risking harm to the original painting. From this stage I'm able to immediately deliver the illustration to my client with the ability to easily revise if necessary.
  • Thanks for checking out my work!