November 14, 2005

40: Squirrel Carrying Giant Nut

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A rundown on how this Illustration Friday submission came to be:


Friday was a holiday here in Manitoba. Remembrance Day. So while at Vimy Ridge Park, keeping warm, waiting for the local Remembrance Day ceremony to begin, I asked Kerry what I might do to illustrate strength. Surely, given the surroundings and circumstances, I could come up with something inspiring, something of a tribute...

So how about a play on the famous sculpture of Atlas, with the weight of the world on his shoulders? And instead of Atlas, it’s a squirrel carrying a giant nut?

And that's my thought process. As Forrest Gump would put it: "That's all I got to say about that".

I penciled it out in my sketchbook Friday afternoon. I'm not a very fluid cartoonist or caricature artist, so stuff like this gets drawn out quite carefully. Plenty of eraser action as I get body parts down just so. I pose, pretending to be the squirrel, to see how the hands and fingers should be positioned. Never drawn an acorn before, so I do an image search on Google. The acorn isn't working. I'm frustrated that I can't seem to draw an acorn. I begin to go over the squirrel's pencil-work in pen, doing my thicks and thins. There's mistakes that will have to be erased in Photoshop, so I mark them. After I finish the squirrel, I take a thin pen and sketch over the linework so it doesn't look totally rigid; it is a cartoon after all. I ink the basic outline of the acorn, but the perspective on the 'stem' is all screwed up. I draw a new stem on a separate piece of paper, scan it and add it to the finished linework digitally. I thought I might then post the line-art as is, a nice black-and-white piece of work. But I'm a sucker for the polish that digital colour provides, so...voila.

I call it Squirrel Carrying Giant Nut. Click here for a closer look. Hope you enjoy it. Have a great week, all.

22 comments:

Tony Sarrecchia said...

You have a very 'fun' style.

Catnapping said...

wow that's a big nut. (no i'm not going there! ... but sorely tempted, i certainly was.)

this is a fun illustration, and he's got such a cute face.

Alina Chau said...

Fun illo!

Don said...

Wonderful style. Not just this one, but all I have seen up to now as well.

Anonymous said...

It looks like the secret to great strength is concentration - Squirrel has such an intense look on his little face! It's a great job and I enjoyed reading about the process of its creation!

Christine Lim Simpson said...

I like the facial expression of your squirrel. Maybe you could leave out the blue background. (Just my opinion, hope you don't mind.) Overall, very well illustrated.

Doug said...

nice job! Thanks for telling about the process... nothing is as easy as it looks is always the case, eh? This reminds me of the wonderful little squirrel-like character in Ice Age.

Melissa said...

Hi Jeope!! Wow, impressive again. I really like how you went over your drawing with a thin pen. That adds a whole lot. I might have to steal that technique. Hmm, I wonder what I could draw that would symbolize my surroundings. Maybe Rocky carrying a giant cheesesteak? ;-)

I'll rethink that one.

Holly said...

Love it! He is quite a super squirrel dangling on the wire with that enormous acorn. Impressive!

Allan L. said...

"This reminds me of the wonderful little squirrel-like character in Ice Age."
I was gonna say that! It looks similar to Scrat, but just a little. Nice work...I wish I was as methodical on mine as you were on yours. I should've inked mine.

Jeope said...

Yeah, the scrat was definitely an influence. When I was drawing, I was a little worried about the resemblance. Coincidence, tho'. Scrat was the best thing in Ice Age.

Dave said...

oooh, that gets me thinking... could I use him for you-know-what?

ValGalArt said...

this is great!

Wilnara said...

I love it! He is trying so hard!Hangin on for dear life!!! Great Illustration!

Ellen said...

Hey! He's got a beer belly! LOL Lovely illo!

carla said...

I have a fondness for those little squirrel guys who are so busy all the time...and this fellow is certainly no slacker! I love the real rodent look you've given him with the skinny limbs, and I love the size of that nut! He has drive, ambition, and strength! Great illo...it made me smile:>

erik said...

Thanks for your comments Jeope. I enjoyed your work as well and look forward to seeing more. My own "strength" image was also ink with digital color. Cheers!

rottentuna.com said...

Oh man, I just love this little guy... he's drawn so well! plus.. he completely cracked me up.. wanted to give him a hand!

devon said...

i love it! :D

craig and i have a squirrel, his name is gregor, as in "gregor is squirrel handed..." from strongbad! lol. have a good one dr!

Deb said...

i love it! I'm glad you're keeping up with illustration friday... I check your blog just to see what (dr)colossal inspirations you have next! ;)

A Little Hut said...

Thanks for the visit and comments Jeope! I'm not sure if you know but I'm PZ01 over at H-Lounge. I love your illustrations and feel they make mine look like I'm a kindergartener!!! ;)

You're right about the logos. I've been meaning to post them but something always comes up. Will try to post them over the weekend.

I've been reading your blog for a while but I've been to shy to comment. :)

Jeope said...

Hey PZ, good on you for stopping by. And don't be shy - you oughta jump in and do the whole forum blog circuit ... or mebbe you already do. Decloak, already!