Tuesday, March 9, 2010

As the Crow Flies

Here's another magazine illustration. In this column, the writer was trying to determine the exact definition of the expression, "As the crow flies." At one point, she mentioned that she should dress up in a trenchcoat, go to the bad side of the tracks and bribe a crow with bird seed for the crow's flight path. I think the final illustration does an excellent job of illustrating that scene. I love this drawing. I'm usually my worst critic, but this is one of those rare exceptions in which I'm completely happy with the final result.

Here's the first sketch. I was trying to work out the final design of how the crow should look. I drew him sitting on a crate. I didn't like his sitting pose.

The columnist mentioned the city council having a meeting and voting on the exact distance as the crow flies. For local readers, yes, that is Mayor Cedric Glover. Also, I love the "Old Crow" joke.

I really liked this version of the crow. He was starting to look more like a Warner Brothers character to me, which was my goal. I liked the scarecrow, but I thought it was too distracting.

Here's another sketch with the crow leaning up against the scarecrow. (See my note about the scarecrow's size.) The smaller sketch is a thumbnail that became the final drawing. It took five different sketches that brought me to the final idea.


  1. Man these are fantastic. I bet it's quite a treat when you get to do these at work. It's like getting paid for drawing...imagine that!

  2. Thank you for the compliment. Technically, these illustrations are separate from my Creative Director job. I get paid a freelance rate for all of these magazine illustrations. That's cool because it legitimizes me as a professional illustrator. I do most of these at home. Although, I have done a few at work. (Don't tell anyone!)

  3. I remember when this one was published but I don't think I'd ever seen your concept sketches leading up to it. Thanks for pulling back the curtain!

    The Mayor looks like he's up to something...

  4. Word! It's fun for me to revisit the thought process behind these drawings. Glad you liked it.