How an Illustration is Made

The Salem Custom House and Hawkes House

Welcome back to the wacky news from the magical whimsical side of Salem! I am Mr. Zac spilling all the odd secrets of this quirky town. Today I will share the process my illustrator Chris Dowgin uses while illustrating.

Below you will see three images of the process of his creation of the illustration of smuggling past the Customs agents on Derby Street. Chris starts the drawing in graphite and then scans it into the computer before painting. This allows him to do several versions of the painting and also gives him the ability to save the drawing if a cat knocks over the water jar on the painting…In the image below you will see the background drawn and painted.

On a separate piece of paper, he is able to draw the head at a much larger dimension and then add it to a body drawn much smaller on Photoshop. Both images get scanned in and then scaled to fit before they are added on to the background. The body does not take much detail, but faces do and seem easier to him on a larger scale.

Then helping Elias Hasket Derby, America’s first millionaire, are two other figures drawn much in the same way. The funny thing is that Tim Maguire possed for all the characters, actually looks like the real Elias Hasket Derby. These figures below were added to the cargo they are carrying and applied to the background also utilizing photoshop. After attempting several placements and scales of the figures, Chris had decided on this final composition. What do you think, tell us below?

Pick up the first book of the Salem Trilogy, A Walk Through Salem, at Barnes & Noble,, The Witch House, or Remember Salem.


~Mr. Zac

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.



P.S.~ In Salem Derby would not have smuggled so openly; in fact, he would have used one of the three miles of tunnels in Salem. To learn more about this, read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City published by Salem House Press. Available at the same places above. If you do not see it, ask your favorite bookseller to order any of the books.

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