Continuing the series of monster themed thief illustrations, the latest piece pushes the story and composition in a new direction. The original idea hit me near instantly when I decided to continue with this series and from there it was a matter of getting the composition an details down. I had considered myself solid after the first sketch but quickly found out otherwise when I sat down to really think about the final look of the piece.
You’ll find a lot of the ideas and thinking as I went along in the concepts on each page, but with my original sketch I had a lot of strong ideas right away that needed a little tweaking. But with subsequent changes, I found new areas that needed more and more work before I could move to executing.
I spent a lot of time working out just how I wanted the monster to look. There was a lot of time wasted just going through references on Google Image to make sure I got the right feel for him. I even took some reference photos of myself in a few poses (some you see above!).
For some reason I continued to fight with the drawing as I made my way through more placement sketches. Eventually I thought it might be worthwhile to try a different paper orientation to add some space to what was feeling like a very cramped piece.
In that tiny thumbnail you’ll find the final layout that I ended up using for the piece. To finish things out I worked out a few more sketches for the thief and got straight to work on laying the final piece out.
I started with some light pencils to lay out the placements and then added ink. The watercolors laid in naturally with very little thinking past my initial ‘blues’ idea earlier in the sketches. The wall textures came out with a little dabbing of a roughed up paper towel.
This is my favorite of the series so far, but only by a slight margin. I still really love the colors and mood from the last piece. But with this it’s all about the action and details that really help it step out from the pack.
Can you find the flea?