In August I was commissioned by Assistant AD Colton Ponto at Venture Publishing to illustrate for one of their monthly publications, Alberta Oil. The topic of the article was Canadian crude oil, discussing the benefits of establishing a single benchmark pricing system (presently there are 4 systems being used simultaneously).
Headline provided: 'Show Me the Money'
Deck: 'Calls for a benchmark price for Canadian crude are growing louder, but can we get there?'
The angle I chose to explore was likening this aspect of the industry to chance, a gamble, anyone's guess etc. I had a lot of fun brainstorming, and so provided 5 concepts rather than the standard 3, along with a short argument for each. I always add colour in my roughs (if the timeline permits); it gets some of the problem solving out of the way and makes me more comfortable that the concept is communicating fully.
Colton and AD Kim Larson chose the '3 cups and a ball' gambling image hands down. It does communicate the Headline clearly but not too obviously.
I worked out a less flat composition, established the light source, then achieved clean lines by rendering over tracing paper. To be honest, I inked it several times with a brush, but wasn't getting the ellipses accurately. So I chose to just pencil it and pump up the contrast afterwards.
The client was thrilled, which is always a good feeling :)