Pictured above is my ink drawing of Ray Bradbury, easily one of my favorite writers since dad lent me his copy of Green Shadows, White Whale all those years ago. I was commissioned to make six cards to start with, including three sci-fi authors, and three sci-fi fans. The cards are being used to promote Westercon (and more specifically, to get Westercon in Utah), one of the world’s largest science fiction conventions.
Knowing that the cards are part of a series, I got to sit down with photographs of each of the authors and fans and come up with a unified style for drawing the portraits. Not only did I want the drawings to look similar, but I wanted the colors, cards, and text to have a cohesive look. I built a palette of about 15 main colors and used them on each card and portrait.
It’s always important for me to know what I’m dealing with, and that includes understanding things visually. I drew several pages of strange, little sci-fi creatures and devices like ray guns and tools and crystals, most of which I didn’t end up using in my pictures, but helped solidify the project as a whole.