June 1, 2015
Time for a sketch book/blog update! Yesterday I finally visited a new project I completed earlier this year for the Oz Museum in Wamego, Kansas. How wonderful it is to see your work in the real world! I've been doing alot of work in web, so actually getting to see a piece printed in physical form is a breath of fresh air... also a bit scary, sometimes the printing process has it's ups, downs, and surprises! I'm happy to say they printed beautifully!
I was super happy to help out with this project, it's hard at times to find an illustration project, especialy when getting started (let alone finding a fun project). Drawing is a love of mine so getting to excercise those muscles was a welcomed challenge to take.
My first step when approached with the project was to come up with several concepts on what needs to go on the windows. The Wizard of Oz is full of it's own iconic imagery so narrowing them down to the most important was necessary. Working with a defined space size can be tricky, but going old shool with a copier can easily make the process simple! I quickly threw ideas on the copied sheets with some chicken scratch sketches and my brainstorming is off!
It was important for me to tell the Wizard of Oz story in the big main windows to the right to draw viewers in from across the street and down the road. Having the Wicked Witch spy on our heroe's journey through her crystal ball was easy to make into a single scene.
The middle entry way windows show the beginning of Dorothy's journey in munchkin land and ending with her distination of the Emerald City to see the great and powerful wizard. The small windows above the map are set as a scene panorama, displaying Dorothy's companions.
I did have to go with a illustration style the was much like William Wallace Denslow's for the Wizard of Oz series of books that the museum had rights to use. Imagery from the movie, like Dorothy's ruby red slippers, where not an option since they are made for the movie, and require their own copyright with Warner Bros.!
Refined rough sketches.
After these rough sketch concepts are approved, the magic happens! Working with serveral images like this, I find it easier to work on them in stages so they keep the same style and techniques throughout. Luckily, I was able to discover some short cuts through the process!
And now the project is action! They'll be up for quite a while, I think the plan was for a couple of years, so if you are ever in Wamego, go check them out and see the Oz Museum!
Article by OZ Museum