Next up in the OCS's series for REI is the 4th of July Clearance Sale illustration. This piece was a favorite to work on because I couldn't help imagining what it would be like to paddle a kayak on those serene sunset waters...
These kinds of pieces are always a treat to work on and afford me the opportunity to detail out each and every element of the illustration. Lately I've been focusing on lots of my design decisions for each part of the illustration: from the land mass in the foreground to the positioning of the tents and trees and especially the atmosphere between the rolling hills in the background. If you're interested, feel free to read about the creation process below.
When I'm tackling sketches, I try to keep my process as clean and simple as I'm able so I can focus purely on the idea. I find if I try to use too many tools or programs or mediums, I loose sight of the piece and my focus becomes on the tools themselves. To keep things simple, I use an iPad Pro + Apple Pencil and one of my all time favorite apps, Procreate.
Procreate's brush engine is very satisfying to work in (this coming from a guy who buys boxes and boxes of col-erase pencils should tell you something...). I stick to one pencil tool and work out the entirety of my composition. Once everything is sketched out, I'll grab a single water color brush and add a few tones just to help set the mood and separate the forms. I don't always have time for this step but when I do, I think it adds a lot.