Sketchbook | Delving Deep for NatGeo
Illustrator Joe McKendry 94 IL regularly creates work for high-profile publications such as Esquire, GQ and The New York Times. But his assignments for National Geographic are among his most gratifying.
For the October 2019 issue, McKendry worked closely with National Geographic art director Jason Treat to help shed light on the danger of lobster traps to Atlantic right whales, which get tangled and injured in the lines.
“The paintings are done in watercolor but then scanned and brought into Photoshop,” McKendry explains. There he’s able to adjust all aspects of the painting, including playing around with colors and opacity to accommodate blocks of text.
For this particular image, “we also added callosities—or white patches—to the belly of the whale to help readers more easily identify when it’s upside down,” McKendry says.
A longtime faculty member in Illustration, McKendry is teaching his popular intro to watercolor studio again this fall, along with a drawing course on visualizing space.
During Wintersession he’s leading a studio called Merging Worlds, which helps students learn how to work manually in various media and digitally in Photoshop to merge sketches, drawings and photographs together to create “a believable scene.”