Illustration: Secrets and Motives

  • by Jörn Meyer
  • published

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Oh poor, poor Bethany…

Hel­lo folks! I know it’s been a while since you read from me, but that has beau­ti­ful rea­sons: I was trav­el­ling the world! Not only have I been to the US of A to vis­it scenic Penn­syl­va­nia, but I also pitched my tent between the rugged moun­tains on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

The vaca­tions were a much-need­ed break from work to get my cre­ative juices flow­ing again, and boy oh boy, did it work! The first illus­tra­tion after my absence was for the NoSleep podcast:

Ladies and Gen­tle­men, meet Bethany:

Poor Bethany

Bad to the bones


When I first read the sto­ry, Secrets and Motives”, by author Tris­tan Lince, I imme­di­ate­ly had the fin­ished image in my head and just” had to put it on the dig­i­tal can­vas! When you lis­ten to the sto­ry, you might find your­self agree­ing that the skele­tal hand is a strik­ing image.

I picked up my iPad and began the process of cre­at­ing the image. As a first step, I used an app called Handy Art Ref­er­ence Tool that allowed me to pose a dig­i­tal hand exact­ly like I want­ed it to:


The main chal­lenge here was pos­ing the hand in a way that would hide the miss­ing fin­gers! I want­ed the NoSleep fans to think it would be just your typ­i­cal, run-of-the-mill skele­tal hand and to real­ize the fact that it’s own­er suf­fered an injury only after lis­ten­ing to the story!

Then, I googled around for some med­ical illus­tra­tions and brushed up on the actu­al anato­my of the human hand. Since I didn’t find any ref­er­ence images that matched the pose I had in mind, of course, I had to fig­ure out how the bones would be arranged if they would be arranged the way my dig­i­tal hand was.

Here’s me fig­ur­ing it out, in sketch form:

Stretch­ing my legs in a new art style

I’ve been real­ing enjoy­ing the dig­i­tal ink look I used in my illus­tra­tion Drift­wood, but I want­ed to try out how the style would look if I added some col­or to it.

I want­ed the col­or to be less pol­ished than my oth­er illus­tra­tions. Mr. Clacky-Teeth, for exam­ple, has a more pho­to­re­al­is­tic look, but I was pret­ty sure that would clash with the illus­tra­tive look of this piece.

So I used a broad­er, more tex­tured brush for paint­ing and blend­ed the col­ors less. Thus, I was able to achieve a more nat­ur­al and painter­ly look for the artwork.

Back in the game

I’m real­ly hap­py that the NoSleep Pod­cast gave me the oppor­tu­ni­ty to stretch my art legs again.

There are some very cool things and projects com­ing my way soon, and I promise that you guys will be the first to hear about it.

As always, I hope you enjoyed this illus­tra­tion and I will see you soon!

Take care, my lovelies,