A while ago when we asked Elise Martinson if she would create a new background for hai we were super excited when she said yes. Have you seen the work Elise did for the Perth Mint? It’s absolutely gorgeous.
The process when creating a background is pretty much the same each time and this one was no exception. We make sure the artists understand the dimensions and how the background would work with the site, but apart from that we give them free rein to come up with something unique that reflects their style and look. Another thing we also give them is no deadline; I never know if this is a good or a bad thing, but I guess it depends on the illustrator really.
Last October Elise got in contact to show us some very cool sketches. I personally love checking out the sketches and pencil work. We had talked about a Christmas background, but I think it was decided it should be less specific to any particular event.
This one got rejected, but was still an interesting idea.
I think it was a little bit too “environmentalist”… (It was penguins chasing colourful pegs and other plastic junk that look like schools of fish). Above is a super rough draft. I realised it was quite a negative theme even though my intention was to render it so that you have to look twice to realise the plastic. – Elise Martinson
Pencil sketch with the site overlaid. Idea two.
After seeing the lovely sketches above, we asked Elise to proceed as the direction was exactly what we were looking for… Heaps of snow-camouflaged animals!
The sketches were then followed in January 2014 with a coloured version of the sketch with the website overlaid to show how it would work.
Idea two in colour.
A close up of the coloured sketch.
From there Elise went ahead and started cleaning up the sketches. As you can see they look great!
This is the one we went with. 🙂
Close up one.
Close up two.
After the sketch was approved, it was time for Elise to do her thing and here is the progress in chronological order with incremental changes and adjustments.
First colour rendering.
Did you notice the detail added to the snow and the addition of some birds?
Big changes with lots of refinements. Some elements are gone and a couple have been added.
This is the final image and we absolutely love it! You probably can’t see it in these images, but comparing this to the last one, there’s so much more detail.
Close up of the final.
Close up of the final.
Elise Martinson was a pleasure to work with. She was very quick to understand what we wanted and stayed in constant communication with updates and roughs. Then, when it came to the final image she was able to produce the exact files I needed for inserting into the site. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with Elise again in the future. You can check out Elise Martinson’s Winter Wonderland live on the site and see more of her work via her hai portfolio or personal website.