Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Baltimore Recent Commissions

This week I'll be sharing recent commissions from Baltimore (I'll post about the New York commissions in a few weeks) as well as the rough pencils.

Mice with "Balloons": The request was for a mouse couple on a bench with balloons "ala UP". I had misgivings about this suggestion because of my wanting to only draw mice as they would appear in the pages of Mouse Guard or Legends of the Guard. So I did research and included an homage to a very medieval carved bench, and then used paper lanterns that float from the hot air being trapped instead of balloons since Mouse Guard era mice would not have latex balloons or helium. 

The Sketch was rather straight forward. I drew only the one edge of the bench with plans to mirror the carved portion for the other side behind the female mouse in Photoshop. I also drew the paper lanterns all separated apart from one another so in Photoshop I could arrange them in a eye pleasing mass easily.

Guard Mice on the Charles Bridge in Prague: This commission was requested by a past patron of my work who had me do a piece based in Scotland where he and his wife were married. This time, he and his wife had traveled to Prague and thought it would be cool to see guard mice on the historic and iconic statued bridge. The mice hold a flag quartet of the four Prague medieval flags that are located over an arch at one end of the bridge.

To rough this piece out I drew the mice separately from the background, then assembled in Photoshop. Originally the one mouse only had a staff, but when I assembled the two drawings, I found a void of negative space in the upper part of the piece, so the flags were drawn in to fix the problem. 

Saxon in an oak tree:
The owner of this piece requested "a Mouse Guard in nature". I've done several of these for this person already, so consulting my list, I had not drawn Saxon for her. The oak is my favorite tree species, and I like using it as a motif for Saxon (I've linked the motif of lady bugs to Celanawe & dandelions to Rand already). 

The rough sketch was not a collage piece like many of my roughs, but just a straight forward drawing of the red-cloaked mouse amongst acorns and oak leafs. Because I knew I needed to add some tonal value and contrast to the image, I shaded in the leafs planning to crosshatch them in ink.

Mouse and Bunny:
This piece is heartwarming and tragic. The fan who commissioned this is a father who tragically lost his wife and baby. He and his remaining children had a lot of tough nights and found solace in reading together as a family. Mouse Guard was one of the book series they enjoyed. The Mouse and the bunny represent the children based on stuffed toys each of them own, and the butterfly is the spirit of their mother looking over them. 

Unfortunately I've misplaced the rough, and so I can not share it.

2014 Appearances:
Lucca Comics & Games (Italy): Oct. 31-Nov. 2

2015 Appearances:
C2E2 April 24-26
Motor City May 15-17
Denver Comic Con May 22-25
Heroes Con June 19-21
Baltimore Comic Con Sept. 25-27
New York Comic Con Oct. 8-11


PMcC said...

David, I love seeing these. Question for you: have any commissions you've done sparked an idea for an expanded story or art larger piece? Or have any commissions (or a modified version) made any cameo appearances in Mouse Guard? Just wondering.

Max West said...

The balloon piece is amazingly outstanding.

DPetersen said...

PMcC: Yes. Several of the patrons in the June Alley Inn of Legends Vol 2 were characters designed for commissions. And I'm about to do a Legends Vol 3 cover which is just a full fleshing out of a past commission.

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