Saturday, June 27, 2009

Benjamin's 21st Present

When Ben turned 21, I wanted to do something really special. But creating artwork for a close friend initiates a plethora of seemingly reduntant sketches. Issues such as 'that looks nothing like his nose' and 'should I draw him holding playing cards? Does he even like them that much?' constantly orbit around an artist's head.

I started by looking through an art book by French illustrator Arthur De Pins who creates charismatic, sexy and cute digital cartoons. He captures the energy of youth with an amazing sense of fun eroticism and humour so perfectly, I highly suggest taking a look at his work. Ben is a perfect example of De Pins' work; he's cool, quirky, knows awesome card tricks and the ladies love him, so I went down this path.

This is what I came up with...

I really wasn't a fan. Conceptually, it's pretty cool but I just found the execution was way too generic. I did this with copic textas and fine liner and although they create bold and colourful images, the whole thing looked forced and a bit kiddish, I think it was the shaky line work. The expression on Ben's face reminded me of that blank stare Crash Bandicoot does, however I like the pose. And the redhead on the left shows some beautiful, saucy character which I like but the rest of the girls just look like they weren't drawn with a lot of confidence. Plus, I don't like spending more than an hour on a final illustration, this took me about four.

I really wanted something that showed Ben's goofy, laid back character, so I visited the good old Derwent pencil box. What I love about colouring pencils is their openness to error. Although every movement of your hand is seen, it really adds charisma and movement to the work, which I love. I stuck with the cute, quirky De Pins style and magic card tricks. After about 45 minutes, this is what I created...

This one has way more character, it's free flowing and the composition is simple but sophisticated. The pose and expression are way more like Ben too, what do you reckon?

Happy birthday man :)

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