California Lawyer: Challenging Porposition #8

Jake at California Lawyer contacted me at the end of 2009 with a pretty moody cover subject: the plotting behind California's Proposition #8. The gist of the story is that "for months the people backing the case had been operating in stealth mode because they wanted the federal complaint to be the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the successful 2008 initiative that had declared, 'Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California.' "

The art direction of the article was to focus on the secretive planning aspect as if this is a movie scene when the bank heist plan is being planned. The sketches:

I looked at a lot of old movie stills to get that moody, deceptive atmosphere. The second sketch was originally not seen through a door, and that was added after Jake's great suggestion. It really helped the image. The finished artwork with text I mocked over the image:

I never received a tearsheet or saw the cover, so I faked this text to place the illustration in context; this is one of those images that looks weird without type due to the large black shape on the right. I made a few adjustments to facilitate the text such as removing the window frame, making the background into the shadow of the lamp on the yellow wall.

Enjoy the Day,