Spy Games

Spy Games - student project

I have chosen an interesting article from last month's Australian Marie Claire magazine titled "Spy Games".

It is about the Russian governments suppression of human rights, some activists professing it to be the biggest clampdown on civil liberties since the fall of communism 20 years ago. The piece is introduced  in the light of the Sochi Winter Olympics and interviews various members of Russian society who have personal tales to tell of intimidation by Putin's government officials and FSB (Federal Security Service, the KGB's successor agency) spies.

I have started a word association list and a Pinterest board for reference images I am finding on the internet. 

Spy Games - image 1 - student project

Below are my thumnail sketches of ideas. My preferred option is top right... A Russian spy dressed in black with fur hat, watching two girls kissing (reflected in bottom rings of the binoculars) and the olympic rings superimposed over the binoculars. The background is a snow slope scene with Sochi mountains in the distance. There was a huge uproar over Putins new anti-gay laws put in place just before the 2014 Winter Olympics, so I have followed that route of association as it is most recognisable.

Spy Games - image 2 - student project

Here is my worked up sketch of the chosen thumbnail. (It's just a tracing, not my final drawing I'll use in Photoshop as line work) I took a photo of a friend wearing a russian-type hat and black jacket and holding binoculars, for reference. A typical snowy Sochi mountain range is in the background, as well as the ski slopes that provide a good pattern for interest and playing with texture (thinking of making a layer of snowflakes falling down through whole illustration) I'm unsure as yet whether the little ski figures work, perhaps I should just use marker flags on the slopes. Or nothing at all? I'm hoping the two silhouettes in the binocs look "female" enough for the implied message of them about to kiss, to be read. I might play with the snowflakes that fall around their faces, turning them into love hearts. Any advice given would be appreciated... I will do final linework next week and then get on to rendering it in photoshop (plus hand painting some textures to use) and colouring it properly.

Spy Games - image 3 - student project

Sketching up the final linework on the lightbox. I will scan it in to Photoshop tomorrow and start colouring!

Spy Games - image 4 - student project

Here is my final illustration...

Spy Games - image 5 - student project