This project was a huge amount of fun to do. But as I explain below, not the simplest of drawing assignments...
So I get this email from Polish fight wear shop www.live-strong.pl. The chap asks if I can redesign his web shop banner from the current one (photos of hugely muscled men lifting weights) to maybe something like a drawing of hugely muscled men, lifting weights, perhaps?
I explain that I really am best used if I can draw animals instead so I suggest a werewolf facing off against a gorilla. Live-Strong guy loves the idea, then adds, can I make sure they are really muscly? Sure, mythical beasts plus muscles, no problem. Here's my work flow for the werewolf:
As you can see, for the werewolf, I went from sketch, to better sketch, to photograph and then back to sketch. In between tons of tracing paper were used as I re-drew small portions of the wolf's body and composed the whole thing together on the final ink drawing. It's like using layers in Photoshop, but with real paper layers!
Here's my initial gorilla sketch alongside one of my werewolf variations:
I had real trouble getting the hands right. If I drew anatomically correct gorilla hands, they would not look very grappler like. So I opted for human hands. The gi bit was easy, add lots of random wrinkles and creases and basically hope for the best as the drawing spirals out of control!
Here is the final pen and ink sketch of the gorilla:
The next stage was to scan the pen and ink line art into Photoshop, muck around with gray scale settings and bitmap settings to get pure black lines, then add colour, layer by layer. It's all very fiddly and took me way too long but here is the final web banner (along with a logo I designed) which the client really loved!
Oh and what the heck, I re-did the official version for my own portfolio, adding a grungy background for maximum Grrrrrr-factor!
No doubt you'll see me create many more apes and gorilla designs as they seem to be very popular in both the MMA and grappler community, so stay tuned!