Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The Dungeness Pillurtle

Last Friday on my Twitch Stream, we did the tenth community draw-along event #DrawTheExtinct where I posted an image from an old block print I made with a few animal photo inspiration prompts and the idea to create an imaginary extinct animal. I worked on my piece live on my Twitch stream while viewers worked at home and then on Monday we shared our finished pieces. 

Here is my finished Dungeness Pillurtle. And below are my steps to create it as well as the community submissions.

We started with the prompts of my original 2000's era linocut print titled 'Extinct' as well as a Box Turtle, Pill Bug, & Crab.

I told the viewers that they could use any combination of the inspiration prompts––they could make their version as cute and cuddly as a pocket pet stray kitten, as monstrous and deadly as a giant kaiju destroying cities, or anything in between. I also wanted this to be an excuse to get their pencils moving. I invited all skill levels, because I'm a firm believer that you shouldn't have to be good at something or pursuing mastery of it to just simply enjoy the act of it...and art is no exception.

On the Friday stream I started drawing with mechanical pencil on a sheet of copy paper to try and reimagine the beast. While I chose the crab mainly for the eye stalks, I've draw the underside of a crab several times for Mouse Guard, and I like all the plates around the mouth too. I tried to give the head and shell shape more turtle feel with the eye stalks and underplating (and tiny claws) the crab feel, while segmenting the shell & giving it pill bug legs. To the left you can see my finished pencils scanned into photo ship, tinted to easily see the silhouette and with the box turtle shell pattern roughy painted on.

After I was happy enough with my above design, I printed that piece out on copy paper and taped it to the back of a sheet of Strathmore 300 series bristol. Using a lightpad, I was able to see through the surface of the bristol as I inked the Pillurtle. I used a Copic Multiliner 0.7 SP pen to ink the art. The last bit I inked was the shell's painted pattern--which looks a little overwhelming in the black ink--but I knew I was going to do a color hold for it in the next step. Because the initial pencils had gone so well, I was able to finish inking this piece entirely on Twitch. 

I scanned the inks and started flatting the colors before signing off Twitch and wishing everyone luck with their pieces. I also mentioned that I may alter the name to have some reference to the crab portion before I posted my final piece...and it was right after the stream that I decided mine was the Dungeness Pillurtle. With the creature dropped into the template with background and border, I had the color flats ready to render.

I added a few color holds (areas where I want the ink to be a color other than black) to the shell pattern and the pupils.

Below you can again see the final rendered colors with a border and type applied in this final version. 

But, as this is a community event, I wanted to share all the other entries posted in the Discord. I awarded a prize and we voted together on a few more (prize winners marked with *) on Monday's Twitch stream and we all enjoyed seeing what each other had done. I hope we get even more participants next month (first Friday!)


Amy Lebaron*

Bentu Estu*








Nate Pride


Paperback Rhino*



Sleepless Ninja



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