Bafta process - ARGO

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of illustrating the BAFTA program covers for their annual awards evening. The illustrations acted as an alternative film poster for the nominations in the Best Film category. The deadline was a real test as once the nominations were announced I had basically 10 days to create ideas and complete the finals. I'd spent some of the Xmas break catching up on possible noms with the DVD's that Bafta sent me 'For Your Consideration'.

It was a thrill receiving these 'screeners'.

Lots of note-taking and thumbnails during the films. (the 'dig deeper' is a note to self, my sketchbooks are full of me telling myself off)

Here's a little 'behind the scenes' for the ARGO illustration including the original drawing then the photoshop colouring. 

Sketch for the scene I felt summed up the idea of the search for the escaped hostages.

Line work. With a LOT of shredded paper.

Details of shredded 'documents'

The shreds needed some shadows as it was looking a little flat. 

The dark floor beneath was needed for the type and logo to stand out but also helped to make the shredded paper look more real.

The layers without the line work

and a look at the layers (if you like that kind of thing) with the finished illustration.

The program.

I hope you like and please feel free to comment. I'll try to post a behind the scenes of the Life of Pi illustration soon. It was a tough one for me....

My UK agent Handsome Frank are selling large scale prints of the BAFTA illustrations including also Life of Pi and Les Miserables. Their online shop is here. They are also available at the Pick Me UP graphic arts festival in London (18 – 28 April 2013)


  1. You're a genius Sir!... surely it took 10 days just to do the shredded paper?? I'd have gone mad... but that's what makes it so great, going that extra mile... I need to do that occasionally! It's nice to see your openness with your working process, too many are over protective about their 'magic'. Great job all round Jonathan. Thanks for sharing and look forward to the next instalment.

  2. Fascinating read. Thanks for sharing such a detailed survey of your process! And the final looks great, of course.

  3. Michael Kirkham18 April 2013 at 23:05

    Mega wow. I hope you have allowed yourself a few moments of self congratulation. FS playing cards are gob smacking - I'm going now to find who got gold MK x

  4. Thanks fellas. I'm so pleased and relieved at the positive response the whole project has received since the beginning. I'm always inspired by artists's processes so I'm happy to share a few 'secrets' along the way...

  5. Thanks for revealing the "behind the scenes" process. Your works are absolutely amazing! you are the biggest inspiration for me!:)

  6. Stunning work JB, wonderful to see your working process thanks for sharing. x

  7. Hey Suzy B, long time no speaky! x

  8. Yes too long! Hope you're all ok, was thinking of you the other day... found a photo of us taken in whitby & just had to see what you're up to... So happy for you, & glad to see you're getting the recognition & work you deserve. Love & xxs

  9. Congratulations for the wonderful post!! Keep up the good work!

  10. I've just seen your wonderful work for the Folio Society at the AOI show Somerset House and discovered your work here. Really lovely illustrations, thanks for sharing your work process, it's great to see how a picture is created. Thanks for sharing!

  11. wonderful to see your process!! more behind the scenes posts like this please!


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.