Case study

My favourite run

Runnerʼs World

Runnerʼs World asked me to create a couple illustrations for their ‘My favourite run’ section. In the article the writer, Sam Murphy, recounts her time as a child running through woodlands on the river Lyn, Devon UK.

❶ Thumbnails

As always, I started the process by sketching out mini compositions. Since the location was not fictional, I looked to source imagery for reference. Fortunately, the area is quite popular with tourists and is therefore well documented enough to build up an idea of what the environment is like without needing to visit.

These compositions didnʼt make the cut sadly. The first thumbnail described the tranquility well but felt like it was more about the destination rather than the journey.

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❷ Roughs

The ideas I sent over focused on two sections. The first being the initial run down the river. The second more about the climb and the hills beyond. Both ideas had the option to show the writer encountering her younger self.

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In the end, we decided the first spread should show a younger version on one page and then a present day version on the opposing page to make better use of the space.
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❸ Colour roughs

The writer’s description ‘a sun dappled broadleaf woodland’ was of particular inspiration to me and presented an opportunity to produce some dynamic lighting. I started experimenting with colours that could communicate warmer areas in the light and cooler shadows, aiming to give the impression of an early morning run.

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Option 1 : This one had a cooler vibe that felt considerably earlier in the day than the other one.
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Option 2 : Though the palette feels nostalgic, the colours were not what I were after and did not offer a big enough tonal range.

❹ Final illustrations

Once everything was in place, I went into the final illustration. I kept the the woods abstract for two reasons. One was time restrictions (it was an editorial brief after all), the other was that I didnʼt want to distract from the figures.

The end result felt like a cohesive set of images that complimented the serentity of the article well.

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Art direction

Wayne Hannon

Client

Runnerʼs World