I let the image go a few days to work on some other projects, and then created a magazine mock-up to put it into context.
Seeing my painted illustration in the magazine context, I did not like how it looked too much. I felt it was too “handmade” and did not look very professional in the context of a scientific magazine.
So I decided to create a digital illustration in a vector style. I thought this was the most fitting for the context, and it would also look very clean.
I aimed at having similar colours to the painted version. Some different steps of the creation process can be seen in a few screenshots. I first used the painted one as the basis, and created the paths following the painting. I then created the digital composition following the same idea.
What I like a lot is the overlapping faces, which in the digital version turned out as I imagined them in the first place, with a slight gradience.
I played around with different colours, including different background colour and a different colour scheme, e.g. monochrome. I still feel the original colour scheme works best; it’s not as “in your face” as the other versions, and it looks a lot more delicate.
I also put my favourite version in the same magazine layout as the painted versions to compare.