Illustrating ten Tiny characters in one composition is no easy task: space is the real issue. Firstly, Tinies look much better when they are displayed on a grand scale (the colour really pops). Secondly, the thick black outlines that are synonymous with Tiny Grey illustrations, along with the (sometimes) detailed possessions of each character, can look a little crowded if there are too many elements on the page.
Having said that, I'm not one to shy away from a challenge; when a lovely chap, from across the border in Scotland, contacted me to commission a special extended family portrait of ten for him, I jumped at the task.
Having played around with positioning of the individual characters, I decided on a rough composition and then tested various colour palettes in pencil before scanning the pencil sketch into my computer to work on the digital piece.
After adding colour, I added shadows to the characters' forms and also beneath each of them to help give a very slight hint of a three-dimensional form. The shadows on the ground help place each Tiny within a 'situation', in this case the situation (or location) is ambiguous as it is in many of my artworks - this is due to the absence of a background landscape. You may have noticed this isn't always the case in my work and some portraits do have detailed backdrops. However, what makes this kind of portrait unique is that it encourages the viewer to interpret their own location, and to play around with it: imagining from day to day different scenarios. (I find this helps give the artwork a 'fresh' and contemporary look.)
Here's the final piece...
I hope you enjoyed finding out more about how I plan my Tiny Grey compositions. If you're a budding illustrator and would like me to share more of my processes with you, let me know here and I'll make a note for future blogs and vlogs.
If you're looking for a Tiny Grey portrait of your own, simply complete this speedy form with your details and I'll be in touch very shortly with a price for you.
All the best,