Looking back to the October 2011 issue of NEBRASKAland Magazine, there was a Page 49 department by Nebraska author and humorist Roger Welsch on the proposed “Olympics” of his home town of Dannebrog.
Like many Page 49s, this gave me the opportunity to do artwork to accompany the piece.
Here is how I went about the process of illustrating this piece:
First, I read his essay and highlighted any descriptions that seemed visual and exciting. I knew about how much room I had to occupy for the illustration, and what shape I wanted (in this case a horizontal format). Then, I did a quick sketch.
I then searched the web for reference images (see composite below) which helps many times to develop even more ideas.
After printing out the composite, I tape it down on the light table (yes, I may be one of the few artists working to still use a light table). Then with a piece of regular printing paper taped over this, I start penciling the illustration. Most times I will add and refine as I go – erasing, redrawing, darkening lines, etc. Here is the final:
Once I’m satisfied with what I have, I remove it and scan it – then place it in the design program and voila! Here’s the final page with artwork and text.