Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Daily Quick Sketch: Frankenstein's Monster

Today's daily sketch is one based on the current design work I am doing for next year's Halloween products. I was looking for a way to make a more simplistic and iconic version of Frankenstein's Monster for a bag design. So I simply started by sketching a cartoon version of what I already visualized the character to be -- with one major difference: greatly elongating his forehead.

Quick daily sketch: digitally colored with thick brush settings in Photoshop

After sketching I laid in quick thick brush strokes of muted colors, trying to downplay the color saturation, making the image dark and gritty.

The final product design is based on this sketch -- but looks completely different and far more graphic and colorful. (Sorry, I can not show the actual artwork since the design is exclusively for the client.)

Hopefully if the buyer likes the design, we will see the bag in the stores next Halloween.
The original pencil sketch of my visual cartoon conception of Frankenstein's Monster

Friday, October 24, 2014

Illustration Friday: Puppet

Illustration Friday: Every Friday a word is given on the website, Artists and illustrators then submit an image that represents that word all during the week.

This week's word: PUPPET

Scanned pencils and digital coloring of Shark Puppet

This was an image I did while trying to think of new toy concepts for Springtime. One of the most popular themes for Spring (after Easter of course) is Sealife. But when I did this image, I was just goofing around and liked how silly the sketch was looking. As a finishing touch, adding the hairy arm in the bottom corner made this even funnier to me.

Currently, I now use this image as my gaming avatar for several online games.

Illustration Friday: Trouble

Illustration Friday: Every Friday a word is given on the website, Artists and illustrators then submit an image that represents that word all during the week.

This week's word: TROUBLE

I'm throwing this on to Illustration Friday on the last day before a new word is selected tomorrow morning. It's basically a sketch from one of my pads that I've had for awhile.

Penciled and digitally colored sketch of the creature who goes by the name, Margarrr!
I figure, if anyone was to bumped into this creature . . . it would probably mean trouble.

Original penciling from one of my sketch pads

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Daily Quick Sketch: Pumpkin

Today's sketch was another test of getting loose with my designs and looking for different styles than my usual clean ink clean approach.
Loose digital sketch of a traditional Halloween Pumpkin.

It was also sketched because I've been doing Halloween designs for 2015. So I'm always hoping I can discover a new way to draw the traditional icons we see every year.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Daily Quick Sketch: Spooky Spectre

Today's quick sketch was done while I was thinking of new designs for Halloween Trick or Treat bags. This character was mostly influenced by the many macabre and goth graphic designs I saw during this year's New York Comic Con.

Spooky little specter character, rough sketched and colored with markers. Glow effect was added using Photoshop.
It's nothing new, cute goth items have been selling for well over 20 years now. It seems the big thing lately though is that the cuter and darker the subject matter, the more people like it. (Of course, there's still a fine line to how dark one can go -- but much more darker topics and images are accepted today then say ten years ago.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Daily Quick Sketch: 3 Little Pigs

This was a quick exercise trying to get very loose with my digital drawing/coloring. This is part of a new picture book story I wrote recently, which borrows heavily from classic fairy tales.

Quick digital sketching and coloring of the pencil sketch seen below.

I wanted to create a very sketchy style, but I still feel this isn't what I'm looking for. The also wanted the colors to be very subtle, but there isn't the balance that I want between the holding lines and color.

Original pencil sketch of the three pigs.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Daily Sketch: Halloween Sacko

Today's daily sketch is a burlap bag character I simply call, Sacko.
Not sure where the idea came from, I'm guessing this was strongly inspired by Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas" Boogeyman character.

Digitally colored with limited Fall colors, simply called Halloween Sacko
I remember trying to develop a large, bulky character; but it still had to have some grace . . . not just be a lumbering creature. So I drew a more flowing dance/sweeping pose. Once I decided not to add any limb extremities, it looked more and more like a sack.  So I just went with it . . . and got this.

Original pencil sketch of Sacko from sketchbook

I was looking to practice a woodcut/stamp style of inking with brush pens.
This drawing was sitting in my sketchbook for quite some time. Flipping through the sketchbook, I immediately thought this sack character could be better, with more detail and expression.

I used a Faber-Castell B brush pen to ink the character. First, I'd draw a heavy outline, making sure it the entire silhouette was completed and adding more pressure to the marker brush then usual.
Then, I started working on the inner lines and cross hatching more details.

I felt the sketch lacked some interaction, so I had added the Halloween Pumpkin for Sacko to toss around.
Testing out a new woodcut style of inking, adding many short lines for shading and textures.
A Faber-Castell B brush markers was used for more natural pen lines.
A white Gelly Roll (8) pen was used for adding white lines, cleaning and correcting errors.

Once I finished inking, I scanned the sketch into Photoshop, where I used a limited palette of Fall colors and a radial blend for the background. I decided to keep the colors flatter than I usually do, giving the final image a more "colored stamp" look.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Daily Sketch: The Lion and The Mouse

Here's another pencil sketch from one of my sketch books. This one is a nod to the classic fable, The Lion and the Mouse. Of course, I made it more silly . . . usually illustrators do a very realistic image of a real looking lion and mouse. Realistic just ain't my thing . . . while I highly admire those who can create beautiful realistic imagery, I really have not desire to do such images.

Pencil sketch of The Lion and The Mouse from my sketchbook.
I realize now that this lion reminds my a lot of the character Tigger, from Winnie the Pooh;
mostly because of the large snout, beady eyes, rounded ears and gaping mouth.
The resemblance was not intentional, just turned out that way.
To be honest, I was just sketching the lion's head at first. Then I added his body in a silly fetal like position - so he looked like he was floating. The lion's body pose made me think of the Aesop's fable, so I added the thorn in his paw which made the lion now looked more startled than . . .floating.
The mouse was squeezed into the page towards the end of the sketch.

The sketching process is always a surprise. I never draw exactly what I first imagine because the creative process is ALWAYS changing as the pencil moves on the paper. There's a constant trial and error that competes with new ideas and experimentation as the sketch is being made.

Hopefully when finished, the sketch resembles the basis of the original idea.
Hopefully that idea was improved upon from it's original conception.
And hopefully it all translates well to others who see it.

(Hmm, I seem to get too philosophical when I drink Chia Tea at night. . . )

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sunny the Snowman sketch

This was an old pencil sketch I had found recently. This was the front cover of a two fold hangtag for several plush Christmas toys selling at H.E. Butt grocery stores back in the early 90's. The plush toys came out great - made of mostly fleece materials.

Pencil sketch of a Christmas line I created for H.E. Butt stores

I know I have a sample of the finished printed tag somewhere; If I find it - I'll upload it into this post.