Here’s a quick sketch of a ninja holding a samurai sword, drawn in my travel sketchbook. Simple cartoon character, but I wanted to show action and movement.
I was at the mall yesterday and saw this attendant at the bungee bounce area… There weren’t many people wanting him to securely fasten them in the harness. Had to draw this crazy character!
I was inspired by this outdoor rug pattern I saw at Target recently. The shape made me thing of a cyclops octopus monster of sorts. I decided to snap a quick photo and save the inspiration for later.
Here’s the funny cyclops octopus creature I ended up drawing. I decided to stick with similar colors as the original rug. I had a lot of fun with this quick doodle. Just goes to show you, you can be inspired by something every day if you are looking for it!
I saw this darling little girl Sunday morning at McDonald’s. I thought it was cute that she was wearing a hot pink dress, with hot pink flip flops, and a hot pink flower on her big beach fedora hat that covered part of her hot pink framed glasses. I just had to draw her! I inked the sketch and finished it off with hot pink gel pen.
Here’s a pen sketch I drew for my wife, of an owl, elephant, and unicorn merged together. She calls it an Uniowlphant. This was a tough mix of animals. Tricky to know quite how to blend them together, but I think it turned out pretty cute. Feathery body, elephant ears that look a bit like wings, owl eyes, unicorn hooves, horn, mane, and tail, and mostly an elephant body. Combining animals into a new creature is great practice for creativity and strengthening your imagination.
A great client of mine was starting a new branch of their business, with a kid’s Champion Reader program. In order to promote and launch the program, they wanted me to develop a great character and a couple science fiction space vehicles for it. The creation of compelling artwork was a big part of their choice to proceed with their new expansion. Here’s a bit about my visual development process for them…
The main character for their children’s reading program was a dog named Dewey that lives in space, aboard the library of the galaxy. They had an employee’s dog that they wanted him based on. They weren’t quite sure if they wanted him on 2 legs or 4, so I sketched a version of each for them. Since this is for kids, I wanted to make sure that the character sketches were appealing and friendly. A character that they would want to meet and be friends with. Also, my client had already developed a logo design for the program, so I tried to keep with the purple and grey colors of that logo, so that everything would go well together.
My client fell in love with the four-legged version of the dog character, but liked the suit of the other concept sketch better. So I took the dog they liked and re-sketched it with the suit style they preferred. They really loved what I came up with here and I moved onto the final art.
Here’s the final character illustration for the space dog, Dewey. For the most versatility in printing, I created all of the artwork as vector, so that they could print large banners or cardboard cutouts without losing any quality. In the final stage is when I adding in the shading and a bit of a space background as well.
Another part of the visual development was to create a giant space station for Dewey to live in. This is the library of the galaxy. My client wanted something that looked big, cool, ominous, and a little mysterious. They wanted it to be a place that kids would really want to visit. I developed 2 initial concepts- One being a giant ship that was built into an asteroid, using the resources of the rock to power the space station. The second concept I created was meant to look a little like a tennis ball and dog collar, to pay homage to it’s main resident, the space dog.
My client preferred the 2nd scifi space station concept, but wanted to see something triangle shaped on it, to mimic the logo a bit, plus they wanted to see more “stuff” on the main sphere part of the station. I changed the rotating frame to a pyramid shape, and sketched more windows, boosters, and details onto the surface of the space station. They really liked how the revisions turned out.
And here’s the final space station illustration. I think it hits all the points they asked for… something mysterious, intriguing, ominous, and exciting. It makes you wonder what they library looks like on the inside!
Lastly, I needed to design a smaller spaceship vehicle for Dewey to fly around in, whenever he leaves the space station library. Here’s the 2 concept sketches I initially created. The first one mimics the shape of a dog bone, again as a tip of the hat to the dog driving it. The second is more of just a cool science fiction spaceship. I tried to create a shape for it that would be unique for them. They really fell in love with the 2nd ship, with just a couple minor changes.
This is the final concept sketch for the spaceship. My client just asked for a bubble cockpit of some sort, so that I could draw the dog inside of it, flying the ship. Also, they wanted a bit more purple incorporated on the ship. It turned out being a really cool looking spaceship in my opinion.
Here’s a quick look at all the final vector artwork for the scifi dog, spaceship, and space station. I really like how all of this turned out. I love imagining and creating brand new concepts like this for my clients. Things had worked out so well with the other visual development I drew for them in the past, that they hired me again for this new project. I know that these images will be great for their marketing, promotions, and branding of their new reading program. I’m sure that they will see a lot of success in this branch of their business as well.
If you would like to talk about how I can develop characters or worlds for your video game, book, business, or products, feel free to reach out to me anytime. I love helping companies develop, expand, and succeed in markets where high-quality, imaginative artwork plays such an important part.
I have had fun on my free time the last few days, working on and off on this alien cartoon character. I randomly thought of the phrase, “Set phasers to perturb.” A funny spin on the Star Trek phrase, “set phasers to stun.” It cracked me up thinking of a space gun that had a setting to just perturb the enemy, and just had to draw something to fit the quote. Here’s a bit of the process…
Next, I used black ball-point gel pen to ink the sketch. I inked this by hand in my sketchbook. Sometimes I still think that traditional inking has a better look and feel than digital inking. Once I finished, I took a high-resolution photograph of the drawing and separated the black inkwork out of the photo in Photoshop. I set a large image size and then got ready to color it digitally.
Taking the inkwork that I prepped, I brought the cartoon into Manga Studio to color it. After getting all the colors blocked out, I brought the artwork into Photoshop for some final touches, such as the texture in the background, final color adjustments, and tweaking the size of the text.
I really enjoyed working on this alien captain guy and I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more of how I created him.
Saw some cool photos of these long-legged burrowing owls, so I just had to draw one of them! I sketched and inked this cute critter by hand, and then I added the eye color in Photoshop. I really love interesting animals and of course love drawing them!
Had some friends over yesterday and I doodled this little creature from the black lagoon monster guy. Drinking a soda and wearing a unicorn tank top. Real tough guy, you know. Then our friend’s daughter then colored it. I really like how she colored him. This silly guy makes me smile.
I created these concept sketches for a client’s potential children’s book 1 year ago. Finally got permission to share the concepts. The client wanted this mentor character of the story to look like a sea elf goblin creature of sorts, with turtle features. Unfortunately nothing went further with this project, but it was fun to draw some ideas for the wise old turtle-ish creature of the story!
Finished another fish t-shirt illustration for a great client of mine! His clothing line specializes in fishing related apparel. This one was extra fun, because the Hogfish is such a weird fish, with its odd lips, back spikes, and funky teeth. Most of you know by now that I love weird looking animals!
Played around some more with the 3d printer pen that my wife got me! Here’s a little orange creature guy I made yesterday. It’s a little tricky to get super accurate with the lines, but it’s really fun to build things up into something like this. I’m sure I’ll be playing around with it more soon!
Here’s another t-shirt design I created for my great client, Sea Angler Gear. This time, he wanted a really cool shark swimming up, with a tribal feel to it. It should be another great seller for him!