This is my unfinished entry for the Cheltenham illustration award, inked and ready for watercolour. The theme for this is "Tales of the city".
After establishing the idea, this is where I start to move away from reality and inject a bit of fun. I wanted this illustration to include popular fictional characters instead of real ones.
I wanted a range of literary characters that have a connection to Oxford, whether created or part created, established or set in Oxford. The characters I picked were from The Hobbit, Morse, Brideshead Revisited, Lord Peter Whimsey, The Golden Compass, Winnie the Witch, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Alices Adventures in Wonderland.
Rather than make the faces up I wanted, where possible, to use faces of the actor/ actress who portrayed these characters or look at existing artwork. The fun part and in keeping with my recent work, was to present it in caricature.
For the backdrop I first intended to use the Radcliff Camera but after an initial sketch I thought the building was too big to use and if I concentrated on a small section it wouldn't be recognisable enough. I then looked at the Bridge of sighs before settling on the Sheldonian Theatre. I thought the Sheldonian was more suited to what I needed, plus the heads were, I thought, very recognisable .
(My Facebook page will show my initial sketches and roughs leading up to the black line art shown here on this page.)