Friday, May 10, 2013

Miliband and Cameron for The Week

This cover has just hit the shelves, here are a few pics of the process. First off, I get the call with the idea for the picture, which is to have Ed Miliband and David Cameron as sad clowns (a reference to what the Tories mainly have been saying about UKIP). Sounded right up my street so I quickly drew up a rough sketch. They hadn't specified a particular background, so I was thinking I'd probably do a circus curtain and have the two figures in spotlight, so I could have a nice circular shape behind them which would make a nice composition:

I also added a banner floating to the floor behind them with a reference to the local government elections which was the core of the story. That all went down well, so I carried on with a colour rough:

I tried a few colour ideas, none of which a liked much, then I hit on the idea of using purple (UKIP's colour) as the main background. I blocked it in very roughly (there's no suggestion of the circus curtain which would have gone in). That didn't go down well! They didn't like the purple at all, and now wanted a circus ring background instead. Which I was excited to do, but I still wanted to keep the spotlight idea in it, so I did that - but the circle composition got lost pretty much. Still, the final illustration looks OK I think:

You'll notice that Cameron's mouth and chin have changed a lot - I used a reference photo that had him literally frowning, but that hurt the likeness as he has a distinctive chin shape and wide cheeks. I was asked to make him more 'Cameron like', so I adjusted the lower face and toned down the make up just to be safe. I think I really need to spend a bit longer getting the caricatures themselves much stronger at the sketch stage as I think both could be a lot better. That's the pressure though, as you really want to get a sketch back to the magazine team fast so you can get the A-OK to carry on. It's a learning experience for me that's for sure, and I'm loving it :)

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