September 06, 2006

80: Safe!

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I was watching the BBC series Planet Earth – specifically, an episode about mountains and mountain-dwelling creatures – and saw amazing footage of a mother panda tending to a cub in her den. I thought, that's the ultimate sense of security and safety. So for Illustration Friday's theme of safe, I decided to draw myself a bear for the first time. Bears may not seem to personify safety to most of us, but whatever a bear cradles in its massive clutches must. But on the verge of hokey-ness, I veered off course and decided that my bear should hold something else. But what? Kerry and I brainstormed over a drive on the long weekend. A duck (my guess)? A jar of hunny (her idea)? A piggy bank (mine)? A backpack (hers)? A big fat turkey drumstick (mine)?

In the end I go with a baseball. Why? No clue. Just a loose tie-in to another popular usage of the word safe. This bear says "safe" – and who's gonna argue with him?

This sketch was loosely based off of a black bear photo I dug up to use as reference. I loosely sketched in a thin pen and then went over most lines again, working the thickness of the lines with a brush pen. Colour was added in Photoshop using a palette based mostly from the reference photo and a downloaded sequence of custom brushes by Keith Bowman. You can click here for a closer look at the brush effect, and a portion of the final drawing.

13 comments:

Michelle Lana said...

a very lovely illo...great work!

Pickledog said...

very cool drawing and textures.

mimu said...

nice combo with the brush work and photoshop palette.

irisz said...

oh my God, this is excellent! i really love it!

the enigma said...

love the lines and great media combine..

Ian T. said...

This one looks a bit more like a grizzly to me, but what a great character and expression! Hmm, three strikes and you're out. I wonder what Werner Herzog would make of this pic?

carla said...

This bear looks a lot friendlier than the bears we see rumbling around the woods here, although those claws are pretty darn long and sharp. I love the swooping lines and the gradations of textured color on his body. I also like that the baseball looks a bit egg shaped - that enhances the safe concept in my eyes.

lady cupcake said...

This made me laugh. I love the texture! Thanks again for getting me on board.

Digital Scott's illustrationblog said...

Expressive, fun and wonderful!

liz said...

nsI love the spontaneous, moving line here. Great!

lil kim said...

this is great - love the colours and texture. when you say brush pen, what do you mean?

marisa said...

Wow! You are dead nifty at painting with pixels. Nice textures, phew!

Jeope said...

Lil Kim, the brush pen is somewhat like the sort of pen you'd use for calligraphy – a long-ish, thick nib with lots of give for fat strokes.