Electric Sasquatch

Yes, I’m still on the Sasquatch theme! For this one, I was suddenly inspired by a magazine cover that caught my eye while cruising through the bookstore. I often go to the bookstore to spark ideas.

As I was passing my regular route through the aisles (cars, mountain bikes, art, business — in that order), I suddenly caught a glimpse of Rolling Stone magazine with Tom Petty on the cover (Tom recently passed away). I immediately thought Sasquatch! Not that I think Tom Petty looks like a Sasquatch, but I suddenly saw a Sasquatch in Tom Petty. The long hair and beard triggered it for me. And since I’m on this Sasquatch kick right now, I immediately thought Sasquatch ripping on guitar! Why not, right?

sasquatch_tom

The Rolling Stone magazine featuring Tom Petty.

In addition to a Sasquatch on guitar, I thought this one would be a cool step by step progression project to share with you. It’s one of those illustrations that has progressed with a bit of sketching/adjusting/adding/subtracting/adjusting stuff that describes my process.

As I write this, I’m mostly pleased with how the illustration has turned out, but I can already see where I’d like to push the envelope and make it more animated. That said, I’m also not sure starting over would be the best use of my time. I should calm down and finish this one first. Maybe I’ll redo it later!

Here’s my step by step progression:

Step 1 is a horrible, quick sketch of basic shapes. Blocky stuff. This is what helps me determine points of reference and sizing. I’m using the magazine cover picture as a guide, not a strict copy. Throughout the drawing process, I’m aware that positioning and details will change because of my ability to perform “digital surgery”, as I call it. If I were to be drawing in a non-digital medium, I would take much more care in getting it right the first time.

sasquatch_1

Step 1. Very rough sketch that blocks out locations of things like hands, legs, etc.

Step 2 is adding shape to the basic blocky stuff. This is zeroing in on limb positions and where the guitar will be. The eraser is still my friend at this point.

sasquatch_2

Step 2 = cleaning up a bit of the slop.

Step 3 is more detail coming in. Here is where I start getting more excited because it involves more precision and care. Well, I don’t have to fully care just yet, because I’m still able to have my eraser to bail me out.

sasquatch_3

Step 3 more detail. Fur. Line work.

Step 4. Moving along. Hands and one foot are done.

sasquatch_4

Step 4. More line massaging. A bit more detail.

Step 5. The moment we’ve all been waiting for! Digital! Here is where I have brought in my sketch to the computer to go over it with my red lines. This is where I digitally trace my own drawing. It is very time consuming, but I truly enjoy the process.

sasquatch_5

Step 5. Digital overlay. Notice the huge left foot. That was stolen from another sasquatch illustration I’m working on.

Step 6. After the red lines have been drawn, I fill in those shapes and print the illustration on blank paper. Then it’s time to draw more (by hand with pencil) on top of my drawing. Here is where I drew the head. You can see the proportions are way off here. I blew it and drew the head way too big, but that’s an easy fix after I switch back into digital. This step also shows where I have added some shading.

sasquatch_6

Step 6. Massive, ridiculous head! Shading and adjustments…

Step 7. Ahhh, that’s better. The head has been resized here. Also, I widened the body on the left side and moved his right arm out a bit. This step is the main reason I like digital illustration – I can resize and fiddle around without destroying my entire world.

sasquatch_7

Step 7. Adjusting proportions, playing with line thicknesses, and shrunk the head down to a non-ridiculous size.

Step 8. Shading! Oh, the shading! Here’s the stuff that makes the image pop out a bit. Simple dots, but very effective. This step really bogs down my old iMac, but it’s all part of my puzzle. Poor, old computer. At this stage, I could consider this illustration complete for a one-colour print. Well, I might go back and add some more detail to the guitar neck, but I honestly want to publish this post and get on with life!

sasquatch_8

Step 8 is shading. This is what makes things come alive.

Step 9. I’m not sure if I will print with colour or not, but here’s a possibility. A bit sloppy and out of register print, as inspired by Canadian artist Gary Taxali. I want to keep this sasquatch theme very simple right now.

sasquatch_9

Step 9 = what colour might look like. Sloppy and out of register is what I would do.

Here’s the inspiration/finished side-by-side. Oddly enough, I didn’t listen to any Tom Petty while creating this fella. I like Tom’s music, but just didn’t listen to it. Strange. Oh well. Check it out:

sasquatch_and_tom

I hope you enjoyed my process on this one. I haven’t completely decided if it will make it to print on a shirt, but we’ll see. Stay tuned for the next …

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