09 June 2012
I recently finished this commission of Charles Darwin (above). Most of the time I prefer doing singular images on the page as I think they're more powerful. I guess it's my design eye that comes in here, because I always think less-is-more. Never was a big fan of covers where a whole lot of stuff is going on at once where things are fighting for your attention... but the more I researched and thought about things on this piece, the more it looked as though a mash of images should be done (ie. Charles Darwin on his own is just an old guy, and so he needs supporting elements to make people know its him). So... when the design almost requires this 'collage' type of arrangement, my mind usually goes to the master of these covers... Mike Mignola.
As usual, I begin by brainstorming in my sketchbook... so as I research 'Charles Darwin' on google, I just jot down quotes, ideas, thumbnails and sketches.
I still remember looking at Raider of the lost Ark posters in Cinemas of the 80s... or the Flash Gordon one, or the Star Wars ones, etc... all fantastic. The posters all included a central 'hero' image surrounded by key elements of the film. Mignola does this on his covers too.
I tried to employ the same balancing techniques between elements in moving things around (above) until it hung just right. This then becomes the underlay upon which I ink the final piece.