This is really one of my personal favourites. After I'd done the Old Vic Tunnels piece, I definitely wanted to have another go at integrating my illustrations with my photography.
This is the photo I ended up using, after one of my many trips to Brick Lane. I think it was one of a few I'd considered, but I found it worked best with the characters, and it's a great piece.
I definitely had a few influences with the female character, mostly from Marvel. By now, everyone knows the Dora Milajae from the Black Panther series. There's no doubt that I had them in mind (particularly the John Romita Jr. design from his and Reggie Hudlin's run), but I think the hair was also influenced by the then-current design of Misty Knight. Either way, I wanted to have a go at designing a female costume that looked like practical armour. The monster was really improvised, just getting body parts added until I liked how it looked.
This was another piece where I got to experiment a bit. I inked one piece in my traditional style, with Indian Ink and a dip pen, and got a result I was happy with. I made sure I got a scan both with and without pencils.
I had recently acquired a drawing tablet, and wanted to see what digital inking wold look like over my original pencils. Once I'd gotten the lines done, I ended up continuing with some shading, trying to add a more varied tone than I'd previously used. I was really happy with it, so the digital version ended up being the version I used.
For the final piece, I put a bit more space between the figures, and added shadows being cast by the light from the human character (who I eventually named Jaqueline Bambera after Brigadier Winifred Bambera, a character I'd always remembered from an old Doctor Who story).
Looking back at it now, I feel my time working on Impirium would definitely help me create a better creature design, although I'm happy with this guy. I never named him, and I'm thinking 'Harold'. What do you reckon? Also, the more gradual shading is something I might try to get back to on some stuff I want to work on soon.