Illustration: They Stalk the Thicket

Sit down, why don't we have a talk…

Gather round, children, it's NoSleep time again! This time I'm illustrating “They Stalk the Thicket” by author Michael Marks.

Something shady is going on here

The story prominently features the work of the US Department of Agriculture…or so it might seem. Then as the story unfurls, we learn that whatever the protagonist saw in the thicket sure as hell weren't wolves.

I found the idea of the USDA being involved in a government coverup so hilarious that I had to chose that scene for my illustration.

It started with a photograph

I knew exactly how I wanted the scene to look, and I also knew that it would feature some interesting lighting effects playing off of each other — the table being reflected in the laptop is one example of that.

So in order to make sure to have everything aligned properly, I arranged a still life.

Simply arranging this was so much fun. I asked my wife to pose as the suspicious Dr. Karen and made her wear a bathrobe in lieu of a lab coat.

Since I knew I wanted to spend a lot of time rendering the interesting light effect, I opted to save time in the beginning by not drawing from the photograph like I'd normally do, but trace over the existing photograph in photoshop.

I really enjoy how it turned out, and I hope you get a kick out of this small behind-the-scene.

Until next time, my lovelies!

— Jörn