For the past three years, The Arkansas Times has had me draw their year-end review cover illustration. This year we went for a painted technique in the style of vintage Candy Land game boards. To begin, I met Creative Director Mandy Keener and Managing Editor Benji Hardy at their office to go over a list of what they wanted drawn. Then after a few rounds of sketches, they approved my design which I then inked and began to slowly paint in photoshop.
Our biggest moment in the editorial process was designing the gingerbread governor and lectern at the top of the page. In earlier versions, I had drawn a more realistic governor next to the gingerbread capitol building. When I realized they wanted the governor to be a gingerbread cookie herself, I had to look up how gingerbread cookies look, and it dawned on me that... they're cartoons!! So I was very happy with the result and think this bitter little cookie might be the best illustration I've ever done. (I also love the Oreos.)
Below are images of the penciling and inking process for any students curious about how these kinds of pictures come together, as well as some illustration assets I pulled from the image for use in the magazine's interior.