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Michael Novak Illustration

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Work in Progress Archives - Michael Novak Illustrator

Baltimore Row House

The couple who lives in this house have been featuring artwork of many of the places they have lived. They commissioned me to paint their current home. It was a nice challenge making this visually interested.


WIP – Train Station

Another work in progress illustration. I plan some experimentation using a brush to apply charcoal on this.

Train Station - WIP2

Train Station - WIP

WIP – Listening

Listening- WIP2

Original pencil drawing for this WIP illustration.

After “living” with the orginal pencil outline for a few days, I determined that the truck didn’t have the presence that I wanted. I redrew the entire composition. Here is the first stage of charcoal after the second pencil drawing.

Listening WIP -  Sketch Detail

Finished Fire Truck Art

*Update – Finally have a better image to share:

Fire Truck - Entire Image

Fire Truck

Final Fire Truck Art

Here is the final artwork in my son’s room. He helped me paint the red. When anyone comes into his room to see it, he makes sure to tell them that fact.

Shelter – WIP Final

Here is the final charcoal drawing for the Shelter project. The next step is to add some color. I generally do this with watercolor because of the ability to be subtle and to rework it.

And here is a detail.

This has been a favorite project of mine. I would like to hear any thoughts that anyone might have.

Shelter – WIP Initial Drawing

Here is the initial drawing. I do this all freehand to just establish the proportions. That way I can focus on other things while doing the final drawing.

Below is a closeup.

By Michael Novak

Shelter – WIP

Here is a work in progress. I’ll start with the photo reference, as all of the ideation (sketching) was either in my head or in Photoshop. I like to work digitally in the beginning, but the final is all done with traditional materials.

The first two photos (along with many others that aren’t shown) were taken a couple of day apart.

I then used Photoshop to come up with a final reference shot. I hated to lose some of the cool things about the truck, and really went back and forth on the composition. Ultimately I decided that I shouldn’t be married to “cool things” that don’t push the idea. I wanted this picture to be an intimate view of a child who was hiding from something. So below is the final result:

I also created a version with only 4 tones of gray. There was a great post about tonal design on James Gurney’s blog. Here is my result:

Tomorrow I will post my initial drawing for the final piece.

By Michael Novak