It's a lonely life...that of the necromancer, er freelancer

A blog by a designer and illustrator, for designers and illustrators which may contain musings on art, movies and random weirdness.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Toy Soldiers

Another project that I have been working on for several months, are a series of illustrations for Glencoe Models, a company that produces and distributes a variety of plastic model kits and toy soldiers. The owner needed some new art for two different boxes of soldiers, French WWI infantry, and South African Zulu Warriors. The client said that one of the complaints about box art is that the painting rarely shows the actual poses that are found on the figures in the box. He wanted to me to do something that was a realistic-looking scene, but at the same time, as accurate as it could be to the actual poses of the figures. He sent me samples of both of the soldiers. Progress has been slow, as the soldiers are mono-colored, and I had to research both the details of the uniforms and equipment, as well as the probable landscape that they would be found in. I then had to blend what the historical record had to say with the actual appearance and detail of the soldiers. I shot some photo reference for the soldiers. Then I tried to imagine what kind of landscape and groupings the figures would look natural in.

Since there were only 4 poses per French set, I had to bet creative with the arrangement.On the the French Infantry, i stuck to keeping the four main figure poses in the foreground. It seemed sensible that there would be only one officer, so that was easy. Having him direct the gunfire of the two firing soldiers also seemed pretty straightforward, however what to do with the one marching was a little tricky. I was also able to add smaller figures in various poses in the background.

On the Zulus, it was little more difficult as there are only 3 poses per set. Again, I followed a layout and landscape that seemed logical for the poses.
These sketches are the result. Once the client approves the sketches, I will execute a finish of each in acrylic. They will be more finished and contain more detail than the sketches.

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