Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Exterrestrial cephalopods and partying shrimp.

My buddy, Irene Gallo at, apparently REALLY likes when I draw tentacles. I've done about 4 or 5 tentacle-based illustrations for her and, honestly, that I don't mind that type-casting one bit.

The latest was a featured article about editing. One part stand alone story, one part tribute to a Tor editor.  Originally, we wanted to do a rollover with the editor's head on the octopus body, switching back and forth to the full on cephalopod head. Because of time constraints, and Irene hiking in Iceland (God bless her), we ended up dropping the rollover likeness. But you can see it here...
The winning thumbnail with some value refinement, staying loose.
The very rough sketch, establishing a mood.
A bit more refinement, plus a layer with the editor's face. All bad tie and plaid pants were specifically requested to match his "style."
After approval, I keep refining to make sure everything works spatially, and try to correct the weight and solidity of the figure and tentacles.
Clean finished drawing printed onto watercolor. 
And the final paint/post production effects.
I attempted to put a couple Easter eggs in there for those who looked closely. You can find three Hugo awards this editor (David Hartwell) won sitting on various shelves. Good luck.

And recently, I was given permission to show some exploratory work I did for Adfero. I was asked to help design a shrimp that looked friendly and healthy to represent the Gulf Coast shrimp industry*.
    Making an insect-like crustacean look cuddly is an art in itself. I purposely didn't let myself look at Peter de Séve's blog knowing he had done something similar and far superior a short while back.

Not a bad way to spend an afternoon, though.

And one last drawing from my mystery project to hold you over while I got back to my cave...

Thanks for reading- S

*Mardi the Spokeshrimp was created by the Washington, DC public relations firm Adfero Group for an organization that wanted to promote the shrimp industry in the Gulf Coast of the United States.  Playing off of the Canjun flair for creative ways to serve shrimp, Adfero named the character after the world famous Mardi Gras that takes place in New Orleans each year.**

**Sorry about the fine print.