Friday, March 2, 2012

BEASTBURGER final colors

Well, the BEASTBURGER design, which has been in the works for a while, and which I have been champing at the bit to complete, is finally finished and up for preorder at the BeastWreck shop. I'm very satisfied with the results, and I love having a design that originated solely with me that I can take my time on and make sure I nail down the details just how I want it. There is a bit of pressure to want to hurry up and finish, so I can see what it looks like on a freshly-printed shirt, but I'm not about to send in a design for screenprinting for my own brand that I'm not at least 90% satisfied with.

Now, not to come off as self-important, or as an "arteest" who thinks their every mark and shade is worth of note and attention, but there have been quite a few fans who have wanted to see process videos or tutorials or the like. While I'm not opposed to doing something like that, if the equipment, time and patience are at my disposal, this will have to suffice for now. I'm going to post images and describe the step-by-step process from rough sketch to final colors of this latest personal design/illustration of mine. If you find this sort of thing informative and interesting, please feel free to dive deep into my exhaustive babblings. If you couldn't care less how the deed was done, by all means skip the wordy bits and just peruse the pictures and that might give you all the information you care to absorb. Either way, thanks for looking.

The top image is the roughest of rough sketches. Once the concept wafts through the drafty windows of my brain, I try to capture it by jotting down a quick note. In this case, it was simply the graphic artwork on the side of a Burger King drive-thru bag that set my mind a-reelin'. The graphic showed a sort of exploded, clean, technical view of a Whopper, with just enough pop-art style to grab my attention. I downed my cheeseburgers, tore the side of the bag off, and tucked the folded reminder in my pocket. I didn't know what the image was telling me, but it was inspiring me to create something similar, yet wickedly different. I pondered it for only a brief time before quickly scribbling out this rough doodle. I wanted a monster-burger -- something evil and malevolent and not at all appetizing. A Beast-Burger, which only makes sense for a brand called BeastWreck.

As you can see, this is very primitive, and I rarely even keep rough sketches like this around past the preliminary stages of work. I'm not a great sketcher -- I'm far too impatient and rowdy in trying to get an idea or pose or concept on paper. The details are worked out in my head between stages of polish and I add more fluidity, style and flourish with progressive "takes". Take-1 usually hits the trash can as soon as Take-2 is well underway. The bottom image is "Take-2" and the details have begun to solidify. I haven't begun to yet focus on lighting and shading -- that comes next -- but most of the final elements are now present, the teeth, bones, insect limbs, tentacles, tomatoes, meat patty, eyes, onions, buns, etc.

The Take-2 rough sketch is scanned into photoshop and any elements I want to change, resize, scale, skew, rotate, etc are taken care of, the image is enlarged and printed out in black and white on 11x17" paper. I put this paper on a lightbox and lay my drawing paper over top of it. I then began drawing a tight pencil drawing, usually using erasable, hard-lead colored pencils (red for the groundwork and blue for sharp detail once I get everything roughed in). I begin paying attention to light and shadow, as well as line weight and giving things a sense of form and solidity. Through brainstorming and inspiration, I decided we needed to add pickles. Someone on my Facebook page suggested giving the burger horns, which struck me as a good idea. I experimented with adding some horn shapes constructed out of dill-pickle slices, but the effect didn't work, so I moved the pickles into the burger (and exploding out of the burger) and added the steak knife being driven down through the centre of the BeastBurger. I liked the effect, as it added a nice exclamation point to the design. Background elements needed to be added, as well. I kicked around ideas of text placement, considering a "Beast" and "Wreck" text element on either side of the knife (but rejected the idea, as I wasn't sure people would want to buy a shirt that broadcast my name brand so obviously in the image), some sort of scrollwork weaving behind the knife, some erupting blood/ketchup splatter, or other graphic elements. I settled on simple lightning bolts to accentuate the driving of the knife as well as the angry energy of the burger.


  1. Great design Jared, I think only the "Incredible Hulk" would dare take a bite out of this guy!

    Tight line work also, and I also like the "stipple-like" effect you use in the final color work. This inspires me to do some pen & ink work myself, which I haven't done in a little while. Nice description of your methodical work flow also.


  2. Holy moley! That's amazing! I wish that was on a T-shirt soooo bad... and that I was wearing that T-shirt. And sipping a milk shake while staring down that evil burger.

    Just discovered you today. Huge fan already! Keep doing what you're doing!


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