This illustrative effort accompanies a story about the perils of sleepwalking. The story is here. (Link has expired.)

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My method of attack for most illustrations is 1) read the story description and 2) do a quick sketch of whatever comes into my head. Most often the seeds of the final artwork are there. I work on top of my rough, I get as much done as quickly as I can and, if the deadline allows, I give it extra attention.

I read this (slightly edited) story description:
Sleepwalking is often played for laughs in TV shows and movies, but wandering around at night can have serious consequences - not only potential for injuries of physically bumbling around, but also can be connected to various psychological problems. A recent study at Stanford med center showed a higher incidence of sleepwalking in adults than previously believed. We'll talk to the doc who headed up the study to find out more about the disorder - who it affects, why it might be increasing, etc.

Nothing occurred to me. I created a new canvas in Photoshop, cracked my knuckles... and did nothing. My hand waved the pen around but no subconscious pulse twitched and no marks of consequence appeared. I was totally stumped. My brain panicked and a short flurry of really dumb thumbnails ensued. Nothing came of those.

I put it away, looked busy doing other stuff and tried not to think about it. After a couple of hours I snuck up on it again. I stared for about half an hour, went into a trance, and did this:

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The chalk outline on the floor brought a darkness to it that I like, but the story didn't warrant such a grim implication. And I worried about the cat. It looks like he might get squashed.

I intended to use a weirder-than-usual color treatment on the final – keeping to the strangeness of this rough, which I like – but the illustration for my July 16 post ("Over the Top," two posts down) appeared as a rush-job and I had to get both of these done in just a couple of work shifts. I opted to go with a simple flat-color approach to get it done in time.

The End.

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