And every time it would come across my digital desk, I'd think "If I had the time, I'd do a drawing of this to have some fun and let everyone know I've seen it". Instead of doing a drawing, I opted to tweet this. But it lead to some fans, who missed my joke, thinking they needed to show me the photo to prove that a drawing like that would be believable.
So I pushed aside the work I was supposed to be doing to quickly pay homage to the photo, and have some fun with non-mouse characters who could appear in Mouse Guard (or perhaps a Legends type tale). I drew the woodpecker and the weasel on separate sheets of paper, but worked on the weasel while laying that sheet over the woodpecker sheet on the lighbox to help get the scale and pose right for the woodpecker's position. I scanned the pencils in to Photoshop to merge the drawings (though I tinted them to help me see each figure better) and resize it within a border so I could re-use the art later for publishing if I wanted to.
I printed out that photoshop work-up and taped it to the back of a sheet of Strathmore 300 series Bristol. On my lightox I could see the printout through the surface of the bristol to use as a guide while inking. For pens I used Copic Multiliners (the 0.7 & 0.3 nibs mainly)
In both the penciling and inking steps I looked at reference for the European Green Woodpecker's feather pattern and markings (as well as anatomy & proportion). I opted to not include any back ground inking texture or marks to let the two figures really tell the story.
Lastly I scanned the inks and colored the piece in Photoshop. Most of the rendering and effects were done using the Dodge and Burn tools over base color flats. This piece will be appearing in my 2015 Mouse Guard Sketchbook due out in July.
Motor City May 15-17
Denver Comic Con May 22-25
Heroes Con June 19-21
San Diego Comic Con July 8-12
Long Beach Comic Con: Sept. 12-13
Baltimore Comic Con Sept. 25-27
New York Comic Con Oct. 8-11
Art-Bubble Comics Festival: Copenhagen: Nov. 14-15