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  • Writer's picturesallymorrall

The Power Of Pride

Towards the end of 2019 I was approached by a friend with an exciting opportunity to create artwork for an upcoming exhibition that was to be hosted by global company Ernst & Young. The theme for the exhibition was the LGBTQ+ Community and, at first, I grappled with ideas of what to create because I wanted something unique and impactful. It was my friend who suggested I create something along the lines of what I already love to do, character illustrations, specifically the idea of superheroes!

Diversity and multicultural representation were at the forefront of my character designs, together with the vibrancy of the costumes, which I designed so that the colours of each represented the different flags and symbols often seen within the community.

Above are the initial sketches of the first character design I completed. I had hand drawn the characters on tracing paper to begin with so I could move them around and decide better on composition. I later moved on to digitally refining them which was more beneficial when adding detail and designing the costumes.

The three group images show the progression of the character designs, as well as the overall composition that will eventually make up the final piece. These are just a few photos of the overall process. There were other characters I drew and tried to included in the piece, however they weren’t working too well in the overall composition. l might look to use them in separate/singular pieces later on.

The five characters shown above are the digitally rendered versions of the original hand drawn sketches. I found it easier to draw details like faces and the block-shading in Photoshop because it allowed for quicker corrections and alterations. The costume designs were much more convenient in Photoshop too because, together with showing the colour swatches, I was able to play around with styles and make as many changes that were needed to each characters’ suit.

The final compositions took some consideration because I couldn’t decide whether to include another character that would be in a flight position above the group, and whose cape would subsequently represent the Gay pride flag, or if the character on the far left would hold up the Gay pride flag. Eventually, I went with the latter option and I’m pleased with the outcome...

This is the current colour version of the final piece. I say ‘current’ because some costume colour schemes are likely to change, although I do feel each serves their purpose for the flags they are aiming to represent, so I may keep them as they are? There is still some work left to do for this piece, such as tone and highlights, although generally this piece is almost ready for print!

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