Superhero week has come and gone in a flash. Thanks to everyone who followed along with me and thanks to those of you who came and found me on Instagram. You guys are total rocks stars. Today I wanted to take a look at what the process looks like when developing characters for an actual client. Sure it’s fun to draw whatever comes to mind but what happens when you’re doing it for a real live client? Lets take a look at the process.
Step one sketches:
Concept sketches. Step one is always sketches. My client is Chewy.com.I’ve worked with them for many years. We designed a set of characters together to help them market their online services. The main character Mr. Chewy is a lovable dog character who is sort of the guy in charge. He’s had lots of different adventures from vacationing on the sunny Florida cost to sled rides in the frozen north. Once he even ran for President of the United States of America.
The assignment for Mr. Chewy this time was to become a superhero. Does this guy get around or what? Anyhow I discuss the project with the creative director and we’re uncertain if we’re looking for an action pose or a hero pose. I throw out a couple of quick sketches of each.
Step two tighten up:
The superhero pose is the winner. So it’s time to tighten up on the sketch. Because I know this character so well and I’ve drawn him so often I find tightening up the sketch in Illustrator is the cleanest fastest way to go.
Step 3 color:
The tight sketch is approved. Time to move onto color. In my head I’ve thinking this guy is definitely a red, yellow white kind of superhero. Kind of a Flash/Shazam color scheme. So I find my colors and submit my art. The client however was thinking more of a blue red yellow combo like Superman. Superman is arguably a much more popular and recognizable figure so I switch things up and resubmit. We don’t want to do a direct ripoff of the color scheme so we change the combo up a little. To help the artwork pop we keep Chewy mostly in red and yellow and add a little blue for accents. High fives all the way around! Job well done.
I post on Instagram almost everyday but it occurred to me that not everyone who reads the blog is on Instagram and even if you are there is a possibility, (however remote it might be) that you aren’t following me there. In light of this revelation I though it might be a good idea to post the same material here on the blog. that way you guys who aren’t following me over there get to see what the fun is all about. I’ve got quite a back log so rather than backtracking all the way back I thought I’d just pick up from where I’m at right now.
If you’re not on Instagram at this point I highly recommend you check it out. I find the visual emphasis so much less dramatic and frankly boring than a lot of other social sites. If you are careful about your selections you can really customize a nice feed and leave the drama of places like Facebook behind. Check it out and once your there don’t forget to look me up. You can find me at BobOstromStudio.
It seems this post got a little wordier than I intended so I’ll end it here with the image I posted today on superheroes. Enjoy!
I’ll bet you were thinking you were going to see something different in this post. Sorry nature lovers this one is for all my artist friends out there using the iPad. This penguin art was created using the Procreate app for iPad. If you own an iPad and haven’t worked with Procreate yet, what are you waiting for? Procreate is an excellent drawing app available to iPad users especially those who are using Apple’s pencil. I’ve really been enjoying this one. It’s got a nifty little feature built right in that creates a movie of your drawing. The best part is the recording turns on and off without interruption while you work. Exit the program the recording stops. Open the program start working on your illustration and the program records again. Once you’re done just click the output button and save your movie. From there you can share it with any number of apps or post it to DropBox like I did and share it on your blog!
I’ve been experimenting with a lot of drawing apps lately and so far this is the best one I’ve found. I have lots more to try though so stay tuned and I’ll do my best to update you as I work my way through them. In the meantime please enjoy this illustration of an escaped penguin in the fish section of a nearby grocery store.
This is just a little test to see how easy it is to upload a movie from the iPad. If you’re curious this art was produced on the iPad Pro using the Procreate app. So far I’ve found it to be an excellent program and I highly recommend it for sketching. In this video you’ll see it’s not to bad for color either. I have yet to try it for a professional job with anything other than sketching but this should give you a little look at what it’s like to work with the program for both sketching and color.
My goal with this post was to see how posting a movie straight to the blog would work out. Overall it was pretty simple but with an 8.8mg .M4v file I feel like the load speed is going to be a little clunky. I think the better option might be to upload the movie to either Youtube or my Vimeo account and post a link, that way three things will happen. First, my blog doesn’t get heavy with bloated files. Second, with Youtube especially, I get better SEO and lastly no waiting around for the video to load up. I’ll do a quick follow to this post when I have a little more info on the performance. Until then I hope you enjoy the video.
UPDATE: Here is the youtube version for a little side by side. Seems WordPress choked on publishing this so I’m going to give it another go. Stay tuned for updates
Most people point their cameras up when there taking photos. Lately I’ve been pointing mine down. I find the best textures live on or near the ground. I’m sure my neighbors think I’ve lost it when they see me taking pictures of my driveway but I don’t care because I know it’s going to make an excellent texture for my next piece of art.
There are lots of different ways to add visual interest to a digital file. I’ve been inspired by the some of the unique art I’ve been seeing on Instagram lately. Lots of textures and lots of originality. It seems as though the pendulum has begun to swing in the direction of a more organic look these days. Adding texture is a great way to great way to add visual interest and create a unique signature. The trick is figuring out how some of it is done and that’s the focus right now.
I’ve worked with adding simple textures in the past but I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface when I look at some of the artists I’ve been following. This month I plan to dig in a little deeper and see if I can come up with some solutions of my own. At the same time I’ll be attempting to solve some of the problems I ran into earlier with my textures. I noticed some of the blending modes I used earlier made my art skew a little darker than I would have liked. I’d also like to see if I can find a way to add more vibrant colors to my textures at the same time.
My early attempts focused mainly on Photoshop but now I’m looking into Illustrator. The technique is slightly more complicated with Illustrator because, as you know, Photoshop offers the ease of using clipping masks where Illustrator does not. The art shown here involves two different textures placed on top of the original art using different blending mode for each. I’m pretty happy with whats going on in this illustration but for my next attempt I’d like to try and push the envelope a little further. Stay tuned for more updates.
If you’d like to see a demo of the Photoshop techniques I use just check out this video:
Hope everyone is having a great summer! Last week I headed down to the beach here in North Carolina for a short little summer vacation. Unfortunately it rained harder than I’ve ever seen it rain. It was one of those rains where you think it can’t possibly rain any harder but then it does….all day. Just as we checked into the hotel it started let up. The sun popped out for about an hour and half so the kids and I grabbed our boogie boards and headed down to the ocean. Right about the time we decided to to get out of the water the rain came back. And so it went the following day. Two hours of sun at the beach in the morning (with the darkest storm cloud I’ve ever seen on the horizon) followed by a torrential down pour. Since we don’t live too far we decided enough was enough, jumped in the car and headed back home. All in all everyone had a pretty great time. I think maybe we’ll head down another time before the summer is done and see if we can’t get a little better weather.