One of the reasons that I love side projects so much is that they act as an opportunity for me to explore new processes and techniques that I wouldn’t necessarily pull out for client work. I recently finished this illustration for Book Jamboree. The Iron Giant has so much fantastic imagery (I had about four quick sketches done within the first ten minutes of starting the book) and provided the perfect platform for me to try out a few things I’ve been wanting to experiment with: pushing traditional compositional sizes, working in a monochromatic colour scheme, playing with scale, and creating a piece with a bit more depth and environment as opposed to the usual flat subject on white that is typical in a lot of my illustrations.
Somehow, all of these techniques seemed to meld perfectly for this one sketch I had fired off with a tall linear composition. Contrasting the size of the Iron Giant with the tiny tanker was the jumping off point for this idea (or maybe it’s just because I’ve had Pacific Rim on the brain….the scene where Gipsy Danger wails on that one kaiju with a cargo freighter is my favourite part of the entire movie). I wanted to play with the lighting as the water gradually becomes deeper and murkier and see what sort of depth I could achieve through this.
The illustration remained in the blue/green range until I was about 80% done with it. I always try a hue adjustment layer near the very end just to see how things look in a different colour scheme than what I had originally envisioned. Usually, I shift things slightly because of this just to get some better colour and value reads but the drastic change to the yellow/green was actually really appealing once I had run the gamut. I loved the nostalgic and melancholy slant it seemed to bring to the illustration.
Super pleased with how this one turned out and can’t wait to experiment some more!