Monday, September 19, 2011

Process: The Terrapin Band Poster

The Terrapin band poster I made almost a year ago was the perfect blend of hand drawing and photoshop for me.  Alan (lead guitar) came to me with a wild idea for the gig poster:  The band's mascot flying on a Pegasus through a Jack Kirby-esk style cosmos.  The rough he gave me (above) was great and made it easy for me to start.

First I had to establish exactly how "Terry," the band's mascot, would look.  Alan told me Terry should look like he could pal around with Mickey and his gang.  I immediately thought of the old 1930's Mickey Mouse cartoons and sketched up a version of Terry for approval.  I was off and running.  All I had to do was put him on the right steed. . . Alan said he wanted Terry riding on a Pegasus, and without realizing it I added a horn and drew a Pegacorn!  Which is way better anyway so no one complained.

After I drew Terry riding his pan-galactic mount I took a deep breath and scanned everything into photoshop.  It can be hard for me to let go of the physical realm and work in the digital frontier.  It was time for me to buck up and start painting with pixels.

My first impulse was a red background and a fiery textured outer space.  Yet, that didn't hold true to ol' Kirby and red was out this year.  So I grabbed my brush and ink bottle and recreated a new background, by hand *sigh*.  To my infinite frustration I discovered that Kirby's method is nearly impossible to duplicate!  I would compare it to trying to copy what Pollock did to canvas.  Seems easy- BUT IT'S NOT!

While I was working on the background I was simultaneously digitally painting Terry and his majestic side kick.  Modeling the colors and getting them juuuuuuust right.

The purple background was finally finished and approved, so I took a break and had a little celebration!

To create the planets I painted in colors and used the smudge tool to create the marbled look of atmosphere.  I referenced top secret NASA photos of the solar system, ensuring total accuracy.    

Now it was time to set the dreaded copy.  At first I played around a little with hand made type.  But honesty it looked like crap.  I knew the only way was to place the text on the computer.  After what seemed like an endless amount of nudging and tapping I finally got all the band names and dates on their proper planets.  Thank goodness.

The poster ended up being a huge hit and if you have a copy consider yourself extremely lucky.  Only 100 were made.  Perhaps someday there will be a glow in the dark version!!!

Check out THE TERRAPIN!  And dash through the universe at the speed of Pegacorn wings!       

Monday, September 12, 2011

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