This is for the current issue of Runner's World Magazine. Out in Stores Now! It is part of a series called 'The Warmup' in which each issue focuses on different areas that runners need to keep in mind for their careers. Earlier editions focused on things such as traveling, breaking bad habits, prerun routines, and the flu/cold seasons.
Below are some of the sketches I originally submitted. The first sample was chosen, yet the sketch needed to be flipped and I was asked to add a few trophies in the guy up front and have the guy in the back trying to catch up to him.
The focus was on 'the competition' part, so I was encouraged to use dramatic angles. My color palette on the first sketch was inspired by the colors that were originally used in the design of the page layout.
I also had to change the clothing of the runners for the final illustration. The sleeveless shirts did not make the characters look like official runners, but more like army guys running through the mud! :)
The background shape also needed to be reduced as it was absorbing the figures waaaay to much within the layout of the page. When shooting the reference, I placed the camera on the floor and shot the reference in three different sections. Two images where I was trying to get my legs properly positioned (my upper body held on to two chairs on the sides so I could swing myself in the air in order to get the running motions with my feet), while the other image was shot only focusing on my upper body. The same process was used for each figure. I eventually paste all of my references together in photoshop. prior to moving on to the final.
The last two sketches had very different color palettes and varied greatly in perspective, one being more cartoony and dramatic, while the last one was more straight forward with more natural coloring.