Friday, June 22, 2012

Vector "King Sweetums"

A few months ago I had a painting in an art show, the theme of which was "The Muppets", and I attempted to draw the monster Sweetums as a Frazetta-Conan-type barbarian, complete with topless slave girls.  Well, I did it using ink, watercolor, and colored pencils, but it didn't turn out as nice as I'd hoped.  I thought it would be a nice break to go back to traditional analog media, but it wasn't.  It just reminded me how out of practice I am, and how unforgiving those techniques can be!

So I'm taking the drawing, for my own experience and enjoyment, and re-creating it in Illustrator, my daily medium.  I am starting to be convinced that while I can pine away for "traditional" painting, I just don't do it anymore!  I am learning to like what I get from vectors, the clean lines and everything is editable, and of course the undo keystroke alone is worth going digital.

So this time around...I'm a lot faster in vector, and there's also no show deadline this time, so I can really develop some detail, the real trick here will be finding the right balance, and not over-doing one section and then having to remove elements or bring everything else up to the same level.  Right now I'm just blocking things in and trying not to isolate colors but have things be consistent throughout by holding to a tight palette of (mostly) of warm tones.  I actually like the flat, graphic nature of vector art, so I'm not too concerned with a lot of gradients, blends, feathering, stuff like that.  (I guess I'm a dinosaur in the Illustrator world who learned to like what it could do before transparency was an option! and I'm okay with that.)

So I'd like to post a few articles on my progress with this piece.  The original watercolor, and it's development, is here if you care to compare: "King Sweetums"