ATP Design Works

ATP Design Works

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Illustrating Joey

Many of you have been waiting to see the latest of my illustrations. This particular one I had to hold off on posting because it was going to be a surprise gift for my dear friend and "sister" Joey, and I didn't want her to see it until she had it in her hands.

Photo Credits: Roger Hung
This particular work was inspired by a photograph that her husband took of her during one of his photo shoots. To me it captured her essence very well. Her playfulness, her "agressive" side, her strength, and her beauty were all depicted in this photo. Immediately my mind flashed potential images of how I could recreate this image in my illustrative styles. Of all the visions I saw, I decided to go with a space scene. Maybe because I used to want to be an astronaut, maybe because the mysteries of space have always intrigued me, or just maybe because that trike could so easily be converted to a rocket, and I have always loved rockets!

I took some creative liberties in the positioning and costume on this one. I transformed her high neck sweater into a armor style breast piece with armored shoulder pieces. I kept the skirt as I felt it made a nice, flowing (and sexy) contrast to the smooth exactness of the torso piece. This was actually my second sketch of this particular piece, that I decided to work up. I will probably do another sketch (or two) of this photo, in slightly different set up and costume. Once I got the composition together, I inked it, and scanned it, then set about to add color to it.

*addendum* So I had been working feverishly on several other projects when I received confirmation that the drawing had reached it's destination, and was in the hands of its intended recipient, so in my haste to post this I misplaced the original sketch. I love showing a progression on these types of things, so I was a bit baffled that I couldn't find it. I even began to second guess my modus operandi when it didn't surface, so I just posted this blog and kept moving. I was going through some drawings weeks later, and there it was in all of its sketchy glory. I love the rough, unfinished quality of this stage of the work, and have often contemplated doing a few "unfinished-finished" pieces. Color fills yet with the flowing guidelines of a rough sketch. At any rate, I found this missing gem scanned it and did some quick levels and size adjustments in Photoshop, not too much, just enough to keep the fluid pencil look, while at the same time removing some of the darker "smudge" areas, and here it is to complete this blog. *

Rocket Scooter Joey
I guess the coloring portion is the real story to this. I did contemplate just scanning it in the computer and then playing with the colors in Illustrator as I had been recently doing with other pieces, but I wanted to do something with a more "hands on" approach. I had not done any hand coloring using my Prismacolor color pencils in a few years, so to be a little rusty with them would be expected. I began timidly. Not wanting to really screw this up, and got bolder as I progressed. I could hear my illustration professor in my head as I worked. "Mr Ron can really draw...*shakes head*...but he can not color!" We all had a good laugh in class that day, but that motivation propelled me to tighten up my coloring skills! Understanding how light affects different surfaces is key to improving with this media. As I continued to work, the colors seemed to blend just right and really enhanced the drawing, giving it another dimension. I definitely can improve on my techniques, but for such a long hiatus from the color pencil, this wasn't a bad "return to action".


  1. I love this! You totally captured my astrophysicist junky side! :)

  2. Very nice illustration! You are so talented Ron:)

  3. Hahaha! It must be our connection Joey! ;)
    Thanks Lia!!!