Sunday, November 20, 2011

Country Doctor

The assignment:

Create an illustration to reflect the compassionate relationship between doctor and patient for a book of short stories about country doctors.

The challenge:

In order to capture a compassionate, intimate scene, I felt it important to create a close sense of space -- using the bedside and curtain partition, as well bringing the viewer outside looking in through the room door. All this helps create context. A warm, lovely light helps to add emotion and a sense of intimacy.

It was also important not to make it about specific people, which is what can happen when faces and eyes are involved. Through viewing angles and use of light, I attempted to make the faces a lesser area of focus.

The process:

My mother and father just happened to be visiting at about the time this assignment was given. I asked if they would be the subjects. They graciously agreed. We then proceeded to do a photo shoot at their hotel room.

It was about 2 hours of some of the silliest doctor-patient conversation one would ever hear -- certain to cause heads to roll at the AMA. But, I captured some terrific poses.

From this, I crafted several sketches.

The last entry was the chosen candidate for the final.

It was a pleasure, not only to be involved with the project, but to also be able to immortalize my parents in this way. To me, every nuance reveals the compassionate relationship they share -- here, as doctor and patient.

Allan Burch is an award-winning illustrator and portrait artist, providing solutions for editorial, book, advertising, and institutional projects.
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