In yesterday’s post I showed a pencil sketch for this project, which will be a wedding gift for an engaged couple. My client liked the idea of developing this as sort of a fashion illustration, which emphasizes curves and long lines and leaves some aspects of the art less developed than a finished illustration.
While most fashion illustration idealizes and generalizes the models wearing the clothes, I did want to make this couple very recognizable. I drew a detailed sketch of their faces based on photos the client gave me. I tightened up the figure drawings and cut & pasted the face sketches in place so I could retrace the entire grouping onto Bristol board, ink it and paint. To get the detail in the faces, I needed to draw these figures larger than I wanted the final piece to be – I try to make my finishes a standard framable size, to make it easier for the client to get a mat and frame for the piece. But I knew I would be scanning the figures and inserting them onto the background for the composite drawing finish, so I was a free to draw them a larger, more comfortable size.
I made a separate painting of the background including the Eiffel Tower. I started with a quickly pencil colored sketch, based on photos the client had and also looking at photos online.
When I painted in the figures I emphasized some rosy shadows in the woman’s white jacket, and so I also adjusted the colors in the backdrop to include some of the same colors. When I had finished painting all the parts, I assembled the components by scanning them and positioning them. I added a rose wash to the bottom of the image to bring in the rose from the jacket, knocked out the hand-lettered Je t’aime and removed the date, since the client decided to omit that. I painted the wet reflections below their shoes separately and added that on top of the wash, to complete the misty, romantic atmosphere that was apparent from the couple’s engagement photos.