Ben at Central Illustration asked if i would like to do their ad for the forth coming relaunch of the Creative Handbook, of course i said yes and whilst talking through the details had an almost instant idea of what i wanted to do, got off the phone and scribbled the top image down. Obviously, not a great idea of what the hell i was trying to get across so after a bit of refinement a more concrete drawing / mockup (2nd image) emerged with which i was able to sell the idea and get the go ahead to make a start on the hires.
Unfortunately, this time around i didn't actually take any good process shots but it was basically the same as usual. First was a resize of the drawing up to the correct size at 600dpi with bleed and gutters marked up i could go ahead and start a new file the size of the painted area within the frame. The girls had the skin, clothes and hair painted together in a separate file which were then clipped out with paths and masks and brought into a working file where the background was being painted.
As you can see from the above top shot, i painted a separate layer with the negative space shapes of the trees etc so i could work on the layers below without being distracted by overflow. The 3rd image is the painting almost finished, after the trees, then the characters were painted, then the grasses, forest and cloud backdrop and ghosts added almost last so highlight colours could be added correctly. The final stages were to add the CIA Icon and my name, some tweaks here and there, levels etc. Then the image was then flattened down and brought into another file where i created the frame above the painted layer and added the final details. Heres the final double page spread:
and some closer detail shots: