Type Tuesday: The Letter Q

This is the continuation in the series of designs based on the alphabet from our Creative team. Each post will include their designs and a peek into their process. Enjoy!

Recognize the guy in the photo? That is Desmond Llewelyn. He’s most famously known for his role of Q in the James Bond films. I am a huge fan of the franchise, so when I was assigned the letter Q, I had to find a way to incorporate the ill-tempered gadget master into my design.

Portrait Challenge

The art direction of early 007 posters, like many of that era, featured beautiful illustrations of characters and scenes from the movie. I have always enjoyed that style of movie poster and thought I would use it as inspiration for this project. This was my first illustrated portrait, so I needed to do a little research and find a good reference photo to base the design on.

Where To Start?

After a little research and a quick image search, I found some great reference shots. I gathered a few together, threw it in Photoshop and began laying out a rough design. Once I was happy with the layout, I transferred everything over to the iPad and began sketching.

sketch Q

Rough Sketch

Using my reference photo as a guide, I began sketching a rough outline of the character. I tried to include the highlights and shadows of the subject, along with any distinguishable features. This proved to be helpful when shading came into play. Once I was happy with the sketch, I moved on to coloring and shading.

black and white shading

Black & White

Keeping to a black and white palette, I choose five different shades to work with. First, I started with the eyes and began working outward. Shading in first the dark tones, mids, then the highlights. I repeated this process until the illustration was similar to the original.

Drum Roll Please…

My decision to take on an illustrated portrait was definitely a challenge, but I’m very happy with the way it turned out!

final Q design

This is an amazing franchise to find inspiration in. What is your favorite James Bond flick?

Dillon White, Web Developer