Commission Evolution

All artwork © Hank Caruso

Below is an example of how a typical commission evolves. This particular Aerocature™ was created for the 2001 ATEDS/SA Symposium sponsored by the Electronic Warfare Advanced Technology Program. (FYI: ATEDS stands for Advanced Technology Electronic Defense Systems and SA for Situational Awareness.) This illustration was of moderate complexity and provides a good example of how the interactive creation process works.

(click on each image to enlarge)

Figure 1 - Sketch

We began with a rough sketch. This is a felt pen sketch that attempts to capture the spirit and feel that we are trying to tell. It is by no means a finished illustration. There many extraneous "sketch lines" and certain portions may be redrawn or drawn over other lines. We'll clean things up later. At this point, we need to agree on the overall direction the art will take.

Figure 2 - Pencil Sketch 1

The patron then reviewed the sketch and offered comments and additional ideas. From this initial review, I developed a pencil sketch incorporating these comments and additional "inspirations" of my own that seem to be in keeping with the patron's wishes. For example, note how the forward "situational awareness bird" has been coupled more closely with the QF-4. Note also that the rear "ATEDS bird" has been given a laser and lightning bolt electronic warfare assets. The confused missile "?" trail was also added to emphasize the jamming capability of the technology.

Figure 3 - Pencil Sketch 2

After another review, the patron requested additional changes. The rear "ATEDS bird" was reoriented to defend the QF-4's rear quarter and given a bucket of chaff and flares to dispense. Two F/A-18s were added in the background to refer to future programs.

Figure 4 - Ink & partial color

At this point all of the comments have been incorporated, the outline inking has been completed, and the drawing has been partially colored.

Figure 5 - Finished Aerocature™

Here is the finished art as it was presented to the patron. Note how similar yet how different it is from the original sketch.

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