I love sketching on location in Europe. Little details abound everywhere you turn. This year has been a whirlwind of inspiration and impressions. Although I haven’t had much time to paint since I’ve been on the road continuously (for just about a year now), I’ve been sketching and doing lots of creative writing along the way. Best of all, I was recently granted another opportunity to travel back to Europe (3rd time in one year)! Here’s a sketch from Vienna, Austria.
Here’s the finished cover art for the novel Night Terrors! It was one of the first illustrations I’ve done as an oil painting, and I definitely felt like it was a big success. I’ve been struggling with different methods for illustration projects lately, experimenting with everything from digital vector illustrations to digitally painted art to hand-painted watercolors. But I have to say painting in oils still seems to work best for me, even though it’s not really the most practical or streamlined approach for commissioned illustrations.
Below are some process photos taken over the duration of the project:
My latest commissioned illustration project is a book cover for the novel Night Terrors, coming out later this year. Set in south Louisiana, it’s a literary gothic story filled with intrigue and romance. My rough sketch features the novel’s beautiful main character, set in a dilapidated plantation home. The whole thing is framed by a giant oak tree, giving the drawing a surreal, dreamy mood.
From this rough sketch I’ll be painting a full-blown painting next for the cover art. Loving this project so far!
Gayle Wheatley | colored pencil and graphite on paper
Voilà! Finished the final watercolor! I really had fun with this one—I love drawing glamorous city scenes! Thanks Whole Life Times magazine! This illustration will appear in the August issue, which will be out very soon. Go to wholelifemagazine.com to find out more, or click HERE for locations in your area if you live in Los Angeles.
Continuing to paint in the colors…
I’ve been asked about my illustration process on several occasions, so I decided to write a post showing how I work from sketches to finished art. For this latest illustration job, I submitted several sketched concepts to the magazine. From there I moved into full color-planning mode, completing several color studies using the above limited color palette. I’ll be using just blues, greens, and purples this time around, with some pinks as highlights and accents. Haven’t decided yet if pink will be the only highlight color, or if I’ll add a golden yellow as well…
Next I transferred my approved sketch to watercolor paper and began painting it, starting with the lightest shades first…
I’m currently working on an illustration for Whole Life Times Magazine illustrating an article about healing sessions taking place around Los Angeles that begin with cocktails! It’s been such a fun assignment, getting to draw sophisticated socialites that can float cocktails in the air, have third eyes, and will have glowing auras once I add color! —G
This is a new illustration I just did for Pepperdine University. They were looking for an Art Deco-inspired image to carry though a graphic identity package for a professional development course. I came up with this concept of an abstract locomotion, symbolizing progress while using motion to hint at forward-thinking ideals.
The image is overlaid with train symbology—from the train tracks horizontally crossing the center of the illustration, to the puff of steam in the top left corner, as well as the circle shapes (indicative of old train cars viewed head-on), and the beams scattered throughout—geometrically suggesting headlights and rail tracks.
I was striving for an energized, spirited vibe with this illustration, and also ended up graphically incorporating a stained-glass feel that ties in with the iconic stained glass chapel windows set above the ocean on campus.
For Pepperdine University’s production of Songfest 2010, I illustrated a whole suite of design materials, from 200 foot banners, to postcards, posters, and website images. I also drew small illustrations for the program brochure, depicting each performance, as compiled above.
The show opens tonight and runs through the 20th:
Tuesday, March 16 – Friday, March 19, 7:30p.m.
Saturday, March 20, 2:00 and 7:30 p.m.
For tickets contact the Smothers Theatre Box Office at 310-506-4522.
Gayle Wheatley, digital
Just finished a new illustration for Pepperdine University’s production of Songfest—a musical extravaganza. This year’s theme is History in the Making, so I drew a Mayan-inspired temple with hand-drawn type that is being hoisted up in place—literally depicting history in the making! The illustration was sketched in pencil, inked over, then colored digitally in Photoshop with overlay layers of paper textures to create an old world vibe.