Monday, 11 July 2011

The Giant Blue Bear of Portola

This is from a collection of illustrations I've been working on inspired by California and my imagination. I actually submitted this to Threadless for a secret challenge and it scored really well despite me not being able to promote it which is great.

I had this idea of a giant bear spirit keeping a watchful eye over a variety of places around California. The original piece is below in pen and ink with an additional series of ink washes and I used gouache for the bear. No macs were hurt or indeed used in the making of this illustration.

For Threadless I refined the colour a bit by using a scan of the original linework and colouring it cleanly in Photoshop on a few seperate layers and eventually added the moon to balance the composition. I attempted to make the moon have more texture and depth but it actually proved distracting so I ended up keeping it simple.

And below is the final submission on Threadless - it's always worth taking a bit of time on the presentation so I took a photograph of an old book and merged the illustration onto the page. The theme of the Threadwars challenge was 'epic' and I was a bit concerned people would potentially miss the 'epicness' of a giant blue bear (!) looming over a house so I rammed the concept home by adding the book title - 'Epic American Folk Tales'. I also simplified the bear spirit concept to a giant blue bear as it fitted the theme better somehow. To see how it faired click here.

'If you look out of the window on a moon-lit night you just might catch a glimpse of the gigantic blue bear of Portola as he goes about his business making sure all the town-folk are sleeping safe and sound in their beds. He's mostly gentle but a cumbersome brute so don't be too upset if he accidentally dislodges a tile or two from your roof as he works, but be sure not to startle him as he's been known to devour delinquents and hoodlums who are up to no good.'

1 comment:

Captain Ameribrad said...

I absolutely love this- it's a great illustration as well as a great story!