A Wedding in the Woods

Two good friends of mine are planning a wedding in the fall and asked if I might be interested in making some illustrations for their invitations. Needless to say I jumped at the chance.

The wedding is planned for an outdoor setting so they asked if I could put together something with birds, squirrels, trees, and the like, so my first stop was the natural history museum to sketch the stuffed creatures.


Turns out there weren't many squirrels at the museum, but there were a ton of birds. These sketches were fun, but for the invite the couple asked if I could make something sketchy and whimsical, so I played around a bit with different ways to abstract bird and squirrel shapes.





Along with the critters I needed somewhere to put them so I started playing with some different forest ideas. I really liked this idea of the bride and groom riding giant animals but it's a little over the top for a wedding invite. Maybe I'll save it for something else.


I was thinking about different ways to portray the forest: light and airy, dense and thick, tall trees, small trees, etc. It got me thinking about some images Luc Desmarchelier posted to his blog a while back when he was doing concept work for Open Season. I took a few cues from his use of hatching to create layers of foliage and thick underbrush. In the end though I think most of this was too thick for what I needed.


When we first talked my friends asked for something sketchy looking in pencil, probably without any color. Even so I decided to do some color experimentation just to see if it would generate anything interesting. Most of it wasn't but the exercise was fun.


Really like this one with the two trees. I think I'm going to make it into a card for another occasion.

Back to the pencil stuff. I decided it might be interesting to think about different perspectives on the trees, such as looking up through them, or from low down or cropped tightly in the thick of branches.

Weather was finally looking up at this point so I took the camera out in the yard and took some shots of leaves and branches just to have something to look at.


Starting to close in on some ideas now.


I'll post more when things are finished.