After working on several pop-culture inspired designs in a row, I wanted to do something a little more artistic so I decided to work on a new illustration using scratchboard (like I did for my ever-popular “Polar Beer” shirt).
Here's my initial sketch
Though I wanted to do everything by hand, I did have to resort to the computer for one small thing - correctly spacing the phases of the moon around a circle. First I drew a circle the size of the full cycle of moon phases. Then I thickened it to a stroke of 50, selected rounded ends and set the spacing to 1pt with 90pts between each dot. This gave me perfectly aligned circles, which I then expanded and stroked for outlines.
Using a ballpoint pen, I traced the image onto scratchboard. The pressure from the pen leaves minute indentations in the board which you can just barely see in this image. They're not that much easier to see in real life either, until I discovered that using a headlamp created a strong directional light source that really helped reveal the impressions.
First shot of some initial detail.
Building up fur detail and balancing the light and shadows.
My initial scan of the central character.
Addition of moons and clouds.
Based on the first scans I strengthened some of the highlights to better round the figure and give a sense of depth, then added in the hillside and mountain range.
Oh, and here’s a quick animated gif I put together showing the build up of the illustration from sketch to final design.
And that’s it! Hours of scratchboard work compressed into a few seconds of animated gif. Thanks for taking the time to look through the blog!
Now that you’ve seen the full process of how this design came together, why not take a moment to vote for it at Threadless? It’s gotten a great response so far, but could still use your votes and comments so please take a moment to check it out here: