The piece was to illustrate an article / review of an upcoming book about a female spy. Fun! The Guardian wanted something that had a hint of pulp spy novel book jackets whilst not being a pastiche
Firstly, here are some, but not all, of the (very) roughs that Dwayne sketched in his omnipresent sketchbook and presented to The Guardian, for discussion with their art editor.
The hi-lighted thumb is the one that was picked to take forward.
Once a direction is decided upon, reference material is needed. Bring out the dressing up box.
Here are the elements that were photographed as drawing reference.
When you've gone to the trouble of getting dressed up and finding the nerf guns, you're not not going to do this, are you!
With Reference photos taken it was time to get down to drawing. The completed drawings along with a selection of scanned textures were taken into photoshop - this is where the magic happened. Sarah (art ed) at The Guardian was kept up to date and offered feedback on all stages of the process. A PDF of the cover blank was provided to offer context.
Working time for the piece was 2 days.
And here's the final piece at is appeared in print.