Portrait Illustration for a Digital Advertising Agency, part 1

Brendan McMahon, one of the three website/social media experts who comprise Social Fire Media, located outside of Philadelphia, contacted me about creating an illustration for their website, showing the kind of teamwork and interaction that happens whenever they brainstorm for their clients. The illustration’s goal is to help introduce clients to the team and their personalities. Brendan felt that a hand-drawn illustration would stand out in ways that standard headshots fall short.

To begin the job, Brendan sent me several photos of the SFM team and gave me details they wanted depicted in the art: a whiteboard, coffee mugs, a window looking out on the pond that borders their office, and of course a number of devices such as cell phones, tablets and laptops – the tools of their trade.

I started by sketching a layout for the art – not concerned too much at first with likenesses:


They approved the overall composition, and sent me more photos of themselves as they are posed in the sketch, which helped a great deal in tightening up the pencil drawing:


In the next post I’ll write about the color sketch and finished art.

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