This is one in a set of concept editorial illustrations that came as a result of wanting to diversify my portfolio, and to challenge myself to visualize ideas outside of my own headspace. They are not commissioned artworks.

The article, titled Forest Bathing: A Retreat To Nature Can Boost Immunity And Mood, appears on NPR. It describes the method of "forest bathing," a type of meditative/mindful nature walk that can be therapeutic and reduce stress.  
Before diving into the layout of the piece, I like to do some compositionally unrestricted sketching and doodling in order to get a feel for what is possible. After that I take the elements I like and think are relevant to the article, and "reorganize" them into rough comps.  
Thumbnail Sketches
For this piece, I wanted themes of tranquility and immersion into nature to be front and centre. I ended up going with the bottom left composition, as I thought it was the most interesting. I wanted the sitting bathers to be wearing floral patterned outfits as it ties in with my interest in textile designs, as well as symbolising a connectedness with nature.    
Final Sketch
This goes through final clean up and adjustments before proceeding to the next stage.  
Final Execution & Colour
I wanted this palette to be as natural as possible, using lots of green, and without losing its focal point and vibrancy. It was important to have the bathing suits blend in and also stand out at the same time, so I used the same colours as in the surroundings but added more contrast. I also went for a marker-textured brush, to make it more cohesive with my traditional media pieces. The added grain and halftone adds a layer of warmth and uniformity to the overall palette.  
Process Video
All images © Kat J. Weiss 2014 - 2015. Do not reproduce without 
the expressed written consent of Kat J. Weiss.