To compete in the challenge, all you have to do is complete the project as described in the course lessons, but your topic must be somehow related to National Wildlife Day! National Wildlife Day is Sept. 4, and “serves to bring awareness to the number of endangered animals… that need to be preserved and rescued” as well as to “acknowledge U.S. zoos and outstanding animal sanctuaries for everything they do to help preserve this planet’s animals and educate the public about conservation.”
There were some really amazing entries to the challenge, and I loved seeing everyone’s work and their research and process behind the piece. It was difficult to choose a winner, but there can only be one! So, the winner is…
Matan Berson! Matan did a fantastic job with his illustration, from choosing an intriguing and relatively unknown scientific fact, to researching, sketching, experimenting, and final production! Matan researched animals in his local area (Vancouver, Canada) and found out that out of all the local at risk animals, only four are legally protected. So he decided to highlight this discrepancy for his project.
Here are a couple of Matan’s sketches from early in the process:
I was really impressed that Matan also sketched out his composition prior to beginning the final drawing. He considered overall composition, placement of the animals, typography, and how the viewer’s eye would move through the piece. Here’s Matan’s final illustration:
Isn’t it great?! Partway through his process, Matan posted his final pencil and ink drawing of his illustration. At that point in the project, the typography had not yet been added, and the piece was dominated by the four circles of the animals. I commented that perhaps he should consider that having an even number of elements is sometimes too balanced, and an odd number of elements can be more interesting and help a viewer’s eye travel around the image. I can see in Matan’s final piece that he took this suggestion to heart and utilized his typography to create a fifth element and really helped to balance out the piece! I also love that Matan walks the line of a realistic and personality-driven portrayal of the animals. They are drawn quite realistically, but you can still see personality and uniqueness in each animal—I love the slightly grumpy looking owl!
Matan, you’ve created a really strong illustration that successfully conveys your original message with strength, emotion, and personality. Fantastic job, and congratulations on winning the challenge! I can’t wait to see more work from you in the future—keep on illustrating! I’ll be emailing you about your portfolio review over the next few days.
Readers, if you’d like to check out more of Matan’s work, check out his tumblr where he posts fantastic pencil drawings! And you can see Matan’s full project complete with process work in the class project gallery!
Great work everyone who entered, and thanks so much for taking my class! If there’s interest, I will host another challenge for the class in the future! If you haven’t enrolled in the class, and are interested in participating, you can check it out and enroll here!
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