Sunday, November 21, 2010

Run, Turkey, Run!

This is Thanksgiving week, so I've been busy planning my traditional dinner: baked beans cooked in the can over a hobo fire and, for the main course, a thin soup made from water, salt and an old cartoony boot all enjoyed whilst sitting in the middle of an abandoned train yard on an old railroad tie. Mmm. That's the comically tragic life of the lonely illustrator, kids.

But I've also been busy working on some book projects and random illustrations. Here's one I did featuring a terrified turkey making a last break for it before he has his holiday cut short by Farmer Gus. The work-in-progress steps are below.

As for Thanksgiving, I hope everybody gets a chance to enjoy themselves, relax or shop or visit with relatives or sleep -- whatever floats your boat. Most of us get the day off (some of us, the whole weekend) so use it wisely. And for everyone who has to work on Thanksgiving, I'd like to apologize on behalf of America's Consumer-Driven Socioeconomic Machine. It's a vicious beast and it's always hungry.

Step 1: The basic sketch, pencil on paper. I didn't bother with a background. I just figured I'd come up with something once I started coloring it.

Step 2: I'm just blocking in colors in Photoshop using a basic round brush. I leave the sketch visible to use as a map.

Step 3: Once all the colors are blocked in I begin modeling the forms with light and shadow. In this first image you can see the farmer and fence are just about done, but I've just started painting fluffy blue shadows on the sheep.

Step 4: At this stage I've thrown more detail into the sheep faces and replaced the sketch outline with a painted, blue line. You can also see the start of my work on the turkey. He went from flat color to modeled form and now he's getting his feathers, one by one. I also threw a texture onto the cloud form in the background to make things interesting and added a barn to balance the piece. A few more details and you get the final piece (at the top of the post). Here's hoping everybody -- this turkey included -- has a great Thanksgiving. -v

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