I wanted to fill my October posts with Halloween/horror-themed images. This cat burglar wasn't intended as a Halloween illustration, but he's out at night, wearing a mask and carrying a bag of...goodies. So this'll do. The Cat Burglar was a pretty simple piece done in just a few hours the night before deadline. For anyone interested in seeing how I put this image together, I saved some of the steps and posted them below.
This is the all-important napkin sketch. Just a doodle in pen or pencil on a napkin or in a notebook during lunch. Yeah, it's hideous. But that's how most of this stuff starts out. Hideous.
After I scanned in the original scribble, I traced over it in Photoshop. You can see I cleaned it up a bit and tried to nail down the personalities of the cats. As for the burglar, I don't usually play with anatomy this cartoony, but the concept seemed to warrant it. So...goodbye bones, hello noodle legs.
I didn't save any of the steps leading up to this colored background, but you get the general idea. Lay in a nice, blue ground, then start painting color on top using the sketch as a guideline. The clouds were just overlapping brush swirls and the roof is just a scalloped shape painted over and over in perspective. I needed this to be a simple illustration (time constraints) so there's nothing really complicated here.
Sometimes I leave my original linework in if I've taken some time with it. But this was just a loose sketch and I always intended to paint over the lines. Most of the linework is obscured in this stage and the cats are starting to go in, one by one. For simplicity's sake (and making it much easier to edit) I painted each cat on a separate layer. This is where most of the detail work came in and I wanted to make sure I got it right. After the cats and burglar were painted in with all their hilights and shadows, I adjusted the color of the image to add more blue (see image at top of post). And that's basically it. Three days 'til Halloween. Hope you have your costume ready. -v