I wanted to make this summer image green and langorous – lots of willow trees and leisurely punting. But actually summer is pretty frenetic with lots of tourists, punt touts and people punting with little experience. The final image is pretty laid back – swapping the original man for a woman photographer made it less voyeuristic. I also cropped in on the left to make the focus much more on the punters and people sitting rather precariously on the bridge.
I also enjoyed working with the quick pencil sketches on my iPad to make new humorous narratives. These are not yet good enough, but definitely an area of illustration I would like to take further.
I started by brainstorming a number of possibilities for the theme of the image as a whole, going through a series of ideas.
Theme 1: Bridges, willows and reflections
One of the most noticeable things about Cambridge in summer are the bridges, and reflections of green willow trees in the water. It is beautiful! So that was the idea I started with.
Theme 2: Punting
At the same time the easiest place to draw was just sitting by the river watching the punting.
I enjoyed making these into little narrative vignettes later on my iPad – particularly Sketchclub or Sketchbook Pro with their sketching brushes.
Punting photo series
I also took lots of photos and video to be able to study the movement of the figures later at home.
Theme 3: Leisurely coffee at the Millpond
The final image though uses a detailed sketch I did while having coffee one sunny morning – initially featuring my partner taking photographs for a photography assignment. I also took a lot of photos and made them up into an exploratory collage.
The final image started as a simple layered colouring of the pencil image, with some slight modifications, experimenting with different tonal and saturation possibilities.
Video of development in Procreate
But my partner did look rather like a spy – particularly later with the Me Too sensitivities. So I made the photographer myself. I also cropped out more of the lefthand edge so the flower was a frame rather than distraction and to focus in on the punters and people on the bridge,