Fish Story – model making for illustration reference

Posted: November 10, 2011 in fishing illustrations
Tags: , , , ,

Don't Mess with Mama

Tuesday I went to a meeting of the Illustration Section of the St. Louis Artist’s Guild where we watched an “extra” from a DVD of  the movie King Kong directed by Peter Jackson. We watched the technical process of the making of this movie which included a lot of model construction. Today I will share a few of the models I have built for reference used to paint my illustrations.

I received an assignment in 2002 to illustrate a fictional story for North American Fisherman titled “Don’t Mess with Mama” which was about a fisherman that upset a mama alligator guarding two of her babies.  The illustration showed mama breaking up the wooden boat with her tail. I built a small model of a wooden boat and then broke it . I took a photo of the broken boat to use as visual reference.

broken model boat

I used a plastic model of an alligator along with photo reference of alligators to use as reference .

plastic alligator

I took photos of a neighbor  laying on his back for reference of the fisherman.I illustrated another story for North American Fisherman that included a scene of a fisherman releasing a fish. I built a paper model of a fish using a color copy from a book on fresh water fish which showed a profile of  this fish.I constructed a 3 dimensional paper model similar to the way airplane models are constructed.

inside of fish model

fish model


fisherman releasing a fish

final illustration for "Don't Mess With Mama"

The final illustration was rendered in pen and ink and liquid acrylic paint. The size is 22″wide by 14″ high.

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