I am currently working on an illustration assignment which promises to be a lot of fun.
First off it's a three part story which requires one illustration for each part. Secondly it takes place in the Amazon so it reminds me of some pulp adventure story ( even though it's based on real life events).
The first illustration finds the main character in a helicopter on a search and rescue mission. What I was asked to do was to have the main character in this helicopter with a chainsaw and the pilot passing a gun to him, the lush Amazon jungle in the background. As I read the story I saw that someone other than the pilot had handed him the gun. I let the Art Director know this and he said I was right and he would get back to me. As I waited I did another thumbnail sketch of the pilot pointing out to the forest and the main character looking in that direction (top left), I sent it off and the Art Director responded with a lets go with that.
Next step was to make a bunch of warm up sketches where I would try and determine their poses and the style I was going to use for the illustration. I don't worry about a personal style so much as I am concerned with a style that looks right for the story. In this case I'm thinking of some type of pulp or adventure illustration- dry brush or pen and ink. Similar also to the Marvel Comics black and white magazines (Doc Savage, Savage Sword of Conan, etc.)
The first group of sketches I made I numbered each sketch to show the changes in styles that I had made. I also needed to do these warm up sketches to shake the rust off of not having drawn like this for a little while as well as to get some direction as to how I was going to do this assignment- pen and ink and water color or pen and ink and digital color. I have not decided yet on either approach.
I'm already working on the final illustration. This stage has proved to be a lot of fun already.