"KD- The Stars Align" is the 3rd in the wearable sublimation print series of the Warriors. This project included some firsts, and some difficult technical challenges. It was the first time working in color pencil, and the first time super imposing a jersey not worn in the reference photo. I liked the idea of each player in the series being portrayed in a different uniform, so when shown together, you'd see the home whites, road blues, the black slate, and gold "The City" alternate. After a rough sketch, I got to work on the original, blocked it out in graphite, used 8-10 different reference photos of Steph, Klay and Draymond taken last year in "The City" jersey, along with my favorite reference photo of KD, and very carefully eyeballed the spacing to create the most realistic rendering I could. It was a bit agonizing at times, but a visual challenge that really helped me grow, learning to see space, shades of color and shadows in an anticipatory way. Almost like walking in pitch darkness at night, navigating each step, making on the fly adjustments.
I bought a lamp which mimics true natural light and attached to my drafting table, in attempt to control the color variation between working during the morning and evening. Working through challenges of learning how to build and blend the pigments, and a non ideal paper, I got a finished drawing I'm quite happy with. Knowing now what paper and tools I can improve with has me invigorated for the next projects. I had the working title of "KD-The Stars Align" floating around my brain, because he joined the big three of Steph, Draymond and Klay, and because the playoff results had to result just as they did for him to join the Warriors in the offseason. For the background, I wanted a less busy look than the first two, so I hand drew stars in two shades of blue and gold, photographed them, multiplied and arranged them in photoshop, with the T-shirt template in the background, to mock up the final placement. A really professional printing company in New Jersey helped deliver excellent and timely sublimation print results, which brings peace of mind I can trust them moving forward. Klay is next!