Tuesday, April 5, 2022

The Croaking Hippomeleon

Last Friday on my Twitch Stream, we did the sixteenth 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 Croaking Hippomeleon. And below are my steps to create it as well as the community submissions.

We started with the prompt of my original 2000's era linocut print titled 'Extinct' as well as a a Hippopotamus, a Chameleon, and a Frog.

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 by drawing with mechanical pencil on a sheet of copy paper to try and reimagine the beast. I saw the jaw & mouth as belonging to the hippo, and the body being more chameleon, and the hind legs of a frog (though I changed the rear feet to hippo feet). But after I'd drawn it, I had second thoughts about the body shape. I wanted to tighten up the length and get closer to a frog when it came to the stance and distance between the front and hind legs, so I placed another sheet of paper over my original drawing and on the lightpad I could redraw a back end that met the goals.

I then scanned both of the above drawings and assembled them in Photoshop. I liked the original hippo foot I'd drawn so I pasted that into place over the new hind leg while also doing some other quick corrections digitally. To help with the color pattern, I then did a quick digital color mockup to help me keep track of the stripe and spot spacing as well as areas that should be different kinds of texture (like the puffed out neck).

After I was happy 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 Croaking Hippomeleon. I used a Copic Multiliner 0.7 SP pen to ink the art. I was surprised that I was able to get the inks done before the stream ended on Friday. I assumed all the patterning and the texture on the body and tail would keep me occupied for a long time, but I managed to finish with some time to spare.
While still on stream I scanned the inks and flatted the colors. For these Draw The Extinct pieces I have a  template with background and border already established, so it makes some of this color prep work all the easier. 

I went with the color scheme I'd roughed in when doing the pencil/layout stage since I thought some different colored stripes might be fun.

And with the flats done, and having gone a little over time on the stream, I signed off and wished everyone at home well in their pieces over the weekend.

After a break and some dinner I went back to do the rendering. To get all the highlights, shading, and texture I used the dodge and burn tools with a stock photoshop texture brush. I also selected areas and used the color balance tool to tint them warmer or cooler. 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*










Nate Pride*




No comments:

Blog Archive