This was an exciting piece to do. The Gazette wanted an illustration the current USC president, Sophie Helpard, to go along with a profile piece in The Gazette. Deadline to drop the pages to the printer was 10pm, and I was given the job with only a couple of hours available. Since I am also laying out the pages, it was tough to not only do a full vector-illustration but make sure the paper was ready for the printer. The whole, laying out stories and all that fun stuff.
I completed this in just over 2 hours. Seems like a long time, but it gets pretty busy when you’re the only one putting the paper together at the end of the day. The style that the Editor-in-Chief wanted to emulate was of that seen on The Globe and Mail. Not difficult, but it wouldn’t be exact with the time at hand, so some ingenious methods applied.
Hair. I hate hair, but I think it comes down to not settling on a proper way to do it. The method here was a bit of a last-minute fluke, but it turned out really well. I think I might explore this method for other illustrations that I do. The shape of the hair traced, and I then took my Wacom tablet and drew some strands to follow the contour of the hair. Here’s the fun part. I put a gradient on the strands and tapered it with a brush setting. Duplicated the group of hair twice over and shifted them around. Bottom layer, hair was about 10 pt, and opacity set to 25%. Second layer, 8 pt, 50%, and top layer 4 pt and 100%. Gives this good effect of fullness and depth to the hair and stops it from looking too flat.
I think the next time I do this, I will go one step further and add in some larger “strands” near the ends of the hair background. It will prevent it looking like an out-of-place blob and add to the depth of the illustration. Overall, considering the time-constraints, I’m happy with how it turned out.