Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Puppet Forge & Petersen Collaboration!

Puppet builder/performer and friend Gordon Smuder and I have collaborated on a new project (or perhaps series of projects depending on how it goes...) Gordon adapted my 2014 Monsters & Dames Monster into a Puppet, we decided that we should officially collaborate and have me draw some monster designs for him to build some limited high end puppets of. The character you see to the left is the first of our collaborations. only 10 of them will be made, and they will debut at HEROES CON this weekend! The deluxe hand puppets, with live hands and full bodies sell for $400 at The Puppet Forge booth and come with a limited print that I drew. Today's post outlines my art process and several more photos of a finished puppet below.

I started by sketching out a few very different types of monsters and slapped some quick color onto them hoping that one of them would catch Gordon's eye. He liked them all, but worried the squid head was too ambitious to start with, the blue troll was too easy/predictable, and the dragon-elk was right on the cusp of being too tricky...so he went with the green pig. I don't know if we will revisit any of the remaining 3 at a later date, or if Gordon would prefer to start with new inspiration sketches next time.
Because Gordon would need more than just the head, I needed to draw out the whole creature for him to start building from. This wouldn't be the final art for the print, but still a sketch that would show the body and proportions and details of the limbs. I offered a palate change here, to avoid comparisons with certain Star Wars pig guards, and Gordon leaned toward the more natural tan colors.

For the final piece, I wanted the character to be acting a bit more, but without a busy background setting. I changed the proportions a bit again and put more detail in the expression and hair. This was all done in pencil, but I left the specifics of the fish bone pile vague for me to figure out as I inked it.
Next up were the inks. I did my usual trick of taping the original sketch to the back of a sheet of bristol board and inking on the bristol over a lightbox so I can see the pencils as a guide. The detail of the hair was lost a bit compared to my pencils, but the fish bone pile was fleshed out more thoroughly. You win some, you lose some.
And lastly I colored the piece in photoshop for the final print.

Now for more photos of Gordon's amazing work at translating my drawing into a fleece & foam puppet:

As I said at the top of the post, swing by The Puppet Forge Booth this weekend at HEROES CON to purchase one of these puppets.

2015 Appearances:
Heroes Con June 19-21
Boston Comic CoJuly 31- Aug. 2
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

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