Nefarious: The Cruelest Show On Earth

The first thing that came to mind when I saw this week's Illustration Friday word, Nefarious, was, of course, a Snidley Whiplash style mustache. That idea grew into this illustration supporting a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses:

Numerous countries have banned the use of wild animals in circuses. If you live in the U.S. or any of the other countries that have not, please voice your support for a ban of the cruel and completely unnecessary use of wild animals in this way.


So this morning I was thinking maybe I should focus my artistic energy on animal-rights/veganism etc., you know, stuff that reflects what I really care about (like the comic I recently started). Later, I got an email from PETA, you know, the kind that makes your blood boil, so I started thinking about it MORE.  A bit later still, I decided to listen to an interview with illustrator Keri Smith and she said the key to getting published is doing your best work, the work that's really meaningful to you, and I look up at the email on my screen (I was at my day-job as a Logistics Specialist) from a carrier looking for a phone number for a customer and my eyes land on the customer's address. The street name? Sanctuary Ct... Sanctuary is the name of my comic. All coincidence, I know, but still...

Anyway, here's a series of reusable sandwich / snack bags I designed to subtly promote veganism, i.e. don't eat animals, eat LIKE an animal:

and a mockup of a drinking cup to go with your sandwiches and snacks:


C is for caroling

My inspiration: we went for a walk around the neighborhood Sunday night to look at the Christmas lights while my daughter serenaded us with an endless but adorable loop of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."

Today's progress

I think I'd like to expand on this and do a scene with lots of different animals and people. But for now I'll focus on finishing this; a little more work on the background and text, and I think I'll be there.

friends, not food.jpg

Friends, not food

As a vegan, Thanksgiving has been weighing on me, so I started this still-very-rough piece.

My long-suffering husband, who would be content to remain an omnivore, is willing to go along with my veganism, so we are having seitan pot pie for Thanksgiving instead of turkey (we've had it before, and it was yummy). Recipes for seitan pot pie abound on the www, so give it a Google (Vegan Dad is the king of fake meats, so check out his site for the best seitan recipes!).

Somewhere between steps 3 and 4

I'm not sure I have my tones (step 3) completely worked out, but I was feeling a tad stuck, so I thought experimenting with color studies (step 4) might help nudge me forward.

I also went back and refined the lines of my sketch after looking at Will Terry's PSD file some more. I realized his sketch was much cleaner than mine and if I want to get a result similar to his, I better make sure my piece is working from the ground up.

Somewhere between steps 3 and 4 of my 10 Step Digital Painting

Back to basics

I was feeling a bit frustrated last night, like I was just winging all my illustration work with no plan, and I felt like I needed to develop a more methodical approach to my work, so I purchased two more videos from today: How to Draw Everything, and 10 Step Digital Painting... sooooo worth it! I've already watched How to Draw Everything a couple times today; the basic principles aren't new to me, but it's presented in a way that is different from what I've seen before and it was kind of a relief to be reminded to focus on drawing fundamentals (sometimes, in my rush to complete an illustration, I forget how much I love to draw, and this helped me remember).

I've only watched part of the 10 Step Digital Painting video, but I was so glad to hear Will Terry say his finished illustration took about 25 hours and the preliminary drawing took several hours as well. I was feeling like I was way too slow and just hearing him say that made me feel so much better!

Anyway, the end result is that I'm going back to making this illustration by drawing the fundamental shapes, and when I'm happy with the drawing, I'll dive into painting it in Photoshop - and I won't worry so much about how long it's taking me!