Sunday, June 9, 2013

Guess Who! From Catalog to Coloring Book

I sense a project coming on...

I like to draw. Quite a bit actually. So much so that when I set out to do a drawing, I somehow end up doing five. Such was the case one day, when I received a nice little Guess catalog in the mail and thought it might be fun to doodle some of the clothes. Ten outfits and many hours later, here I am. 

Throughout the years, I've come to realize referencing catalogs is a great source of art practice. I've used them since high school to hone my skills, getting experience drawing real, balanced poses along with different fabric textures, weights and drapery. I highly recommend it to any aspiring artist. That said, let's get started!

They seem a little sketchy.

As much as I enjoy digital drawing, I'm a traditional artist at heart. That means the first step is usually the basic pencil sketch. The only thing I'm trying to do here is get the poses, proportions and general shapes in the right place. If you compare this sketch to the final drawing, you'll see I actually ended up changing a few things.

On their way to the dark side.

Next up, the ink! Most of the times I draw, I'll perfect the details with a superfine mechanical drafting pencil and call that the finished product. Since this project was also meant to be an homage to friends, I went all out and inked it instead. 

As you may have guessed by now, while the poses and clothes seen here are largely based on those in the catalog (thank you, Guess!), the people in them are not. Roughly half are based on people I know, while the rest are either popular fictional characters (whom I do not own) or fictional characters of my own creation (whom I do). I'll let you guess who's who. ;)

All together now!

Once all the duos were done up in line art, I decided to take a small break and try jamming them all into one picture with a little help from Photoshop. Since each individual pair was originally intended to be a standalone piece, it was fairly amazing how well they ended up fitting together. The few places that didn't match up (COUGH*legs*COUGH), I took into account for the next step: coloring.

Testing, Testing... Red, Blue, Green...

Back at the sketchbook for this one. Since I started this piece with traditional media, I wanted to finish it that way, too. My current tools of the trade are Prismacolor markers supplemented with Staedtler Triplus Fineliners (I love those pens). As you can see from the sketchbook page above, I like to test out all my options before committing pen to picture.

Hair Dye Malfunction!

With the coloring completed, it was time to go back to the computer. I generally try to keep digital tweaks to a minimum on traditional pictures, but I will make a few exceptions here and there. For instance, the yellow ink I used seemed to seep into the paper after awhile and gave everyone with blonde hair something of a halo. I mean, I know these people are good, but they're not that good.

Together at last!

Soon enough, I was able to piece all the colorful pairs back into the same group shot as before (plus legs). Projects like these usually take awhile, but they always seem to be worth it. Maybe next time I'll find a reference with a background. 

If you want to see all the line art, colored pics and more, check out my official art account here: Happy drawing! 

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