Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sneaky Badtz-maru and Hello Kitty's last breath...

This is my Squaremania version of the Sanrio characters Badtz-maru and Hello Kitty:

Sanrio turned 50 this you should all go out and draw your own version to pay tribute.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hello Kitty turned 50!

I can't believe it's been around that long!  Sanrio is celebrating it's 50th anniversary this year.  I've been seeing tribute paintings and drawings popping up all over the web...culminating with a big gallery show Sanrio put on in Santa Monica that ended a few days ago.

It got me wondering what the Sanrio characters would look like in my Squaremania style - so I quickly drew this:
Badtz-maru and Hello Kitty

I've been a big fan of Badtz-maru.  When I was in college I had three back to back (to back) assignments that led me to draw penguins for almost 3 months.  After that I was obsessed and in my free time I would only draw pengins...which is what actually led to this blog originally (it was just penguin drawings and watercolors). 

Sadly, because of this obsession coupled with the lack of imagination by family and friends I started receiving stuffed animal penguins as gifts (which is such a great present for a guy <-----sarcasm).  But out of such travesty came a little Badtz-maru beanie baby, which, along with an armless penguin ball became two that I wasn't terribly ashamed of.

Wait - that doesn't make me sound like a fan.  In all seriousness I love how simple the design is for the Sanrio characters.  And Badtz-maru is one of the best, with his scowl and bumpy head (is it hair...or, because he's a penguin, feathers?).

And there's the weird simplicity of Hello Kitty -  little black holes for eyes and no mouth - she just sits there...but is very cute.

I wanted to do an illustration with these two characters (when i think Sanrio, these are the two I think of...) and came up with this:
 Sneaky Badtz-maru and Hello Kitty's last breath...

Is her name Hello Kitty?  All the other characters are called by name, but is that her name?  Meh...

And this is the clean up (done in Adobe Illustrator):
And yes - it's going to be in color...this is just a taste of some color blocking:
I think I went a little over the top with his hair/bumpy head, so I'm going to tone that back for the final illustration.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Squaremania: sneaking candy...

I modified one of my most recent illustrations so it would fit the Illustration Friday topic this week - sneaky.

And since it's getting too close to Christmas I thought I should change the illustration to where the lil' panda is sneaking a candy cane.  Candy canes, as most people know, are quite terrible if you really think about it.  Not that they taste bad, but they give you so much less units of pleasure than, say, a candy bar or chocolate or most other forms of holiday treats.  Plus candy canes are stick versions of peppermints that you can find at any they're less special.  Even a peppermint brick (which seem to be really popular the last couple of holidays) are a better choice (because it's ground candy canes...but they added chocolate).  The only thing worse that he could have been sneaking was fruit cake - and then the panda parents would worry more about whether he was right in the head than that he was sneaking food at all...

The major differences between this and the previous illustration are as follows (or maybe I should do one of those side by side pics, and leave it up to the viewer to spot the minor differences...):
1.  The 'lil' panda has a candy cane behind his back and his arms are now behind him rather than at his sides.
2. The mom's bow and gloves are now red to reflect the holiday colors.
3. The dad has changed out his derby for a santa hat
4. and I changed the color of the bg to better go with all the red in the illustration.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Squaremania - lil' panda in a big frog hat

I wanted to draw the panda as a little baby panda and make him as cute as I possibly could.  The previous illustration had him looking up at his parents, and while that was very cute, I thought I could do better.

I found a picture online of a kitten in a frog hat and it reminded me of a few drawings I did last year with my squaremania characters where I was trying to dress them up in several different costumes.  One was a box of candy, one had a rabbit hat and the Panda, because of his ears, had a froggy hat (to make it sound cuter, you have to add a y at the end).  So, while it's not the most original idea (that would be a little dog in a cactus costume)'s still ridiculously cute - and my frog hat is better than their frog hat.

Here's the diaper version:

and then I thought it would be cuter if his eyes were closed and his tongue was out:

Squaremania - Lil' Panda's Big Mission

This is the final illustration:

And here's the illustration without the Panda parents...

And a closeup of the lil' panda all by himself:

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Squaremania - Lil' Panda's first memory

I'm working on a new illustration.

This is the original thumbnail rough:

I took this into Adobe Illustrator and cleaned it up...then printed it out and revised it with my trusty blue pencil:
There's going to be a crib behind the little panda, but I didn't want that to get in the way of revising the characters, so I hid that layer.

And here's the clean version with the first touches of color (subject to change):

And this is a taste of the color version I'm working on:
I'm trying to make it so ridiculously cute that it could melt the stoniest of hearts...or at least make a person vomit.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Squaremania - this turtle's on fire!

I remember going on a trip to Hawaii a few years ago.  One of my friends swam way out past the coral and claimed to see a gaggle of turtles (what do you call a herd of turtles?  School of turtles?) that swam all around him.

Never being the strongest of swimmers I was safe and sound near the beach...or at least as far out as the coral shelf all I saw were fish and more fish.

Anyhow - that has barely to do with today's finished illustration - but it does have a turtle in it relates...however slightly.

And what if that turtle was on fire...? Maybe it'd look something like this...
 And, of course, it's more like the turtle torch (like the human torch, only a turtle) flame on, and not as much a cooking burning hurty turtle on fire.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Skeletal Panda

What a cute skinless panda!

 Afterwards he wished he hadn't used so much acid...

I did a rough drawing over the weekend for Illustration Friday's topic of "Afterwards."

Friday, November 05, 2010

Squaremania - Lil' Pachie buys peanuts

I finished this illustration this morning...I originally had the elephant buying a bit of candy...but that never seemed to be very satisfying...and then I thought about how much elephants like peanuts (they do, right?)...and I quickly added a bag to the drawing.

Pachie made a fine purchase, but afterward wished he bought 2 bags...

Here's a closeup without all that cash register nonsense:

IF: Afterwards with horrific consequences...

I was trying to think of something funny to do for Afterwards (the Illustration Friday topic for the new week).  At the same time we're just coming off of halloween (and for the entire month of october I seemed to be more focused on Christmas illustrations) and I really hadn't done anything for it...AND I've been drawing these squaremania characters....and finally, to put it all together I've always wondered what a squaremania animal's skull would look like.

So this is a rough drawing I did in Photoshop:
"Afterwards he realized that pouring acid on his face wasn't the best idea"

Is it funny?  Meh...but it made me smile...oh, and I've also been reading a lot of Jhonen Vasquez's blog.  He's the creator of Invader Zim and Squee!  His posts are full of dark humor and twisted imagination.  If you're a fan of Zim, he did an entire month (March of 2010) of posts about the show.  Anyway, I guess this drawing was influenced more by Jhonen than it was whatever that nonsense I wrote at the beginning of this post.

 this is the clean-up version I did in Adobe Illustrator.  I changed the feet to a seated position because it looked too awkward with him kneeling.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Squaremania - Lil' Packie makes a purchase

The Illustration friday topic this week is Spent.  A while back I did an illustration of an elephant running and always wanted to do a follow up drawing of the elephant using his amex...a sort of play on the old (tired) joke of, "how do you stop an elephant from charging?  Take away his credit card!"

I even did a couple of thumbnail versions, but never did anything worth continuing to a final drawing.  But because of this week's topic, I was brought back to that idea - and thought it was time to see about creating it.

So this is my rough thumbnail and I'm going to clean it up in Adobe Illustrator tomorrow and color it in photoshop (whenever I have a chance):

And here's the cleanup version - I made his eyes smaller because they looked a little weird when cleaned up.  And his nose looks a little wonky, so I might have to fix that before I color it.

Monday, November 01, 2010

How I spent my Halloween Weekend - Wario theme

 The entire Mario Party!  From left to right - Yoshi, Luigi, Toad, Mario, A coin box, and Wario (the last two are my wife and I...and as you can tell by how terrific they are, we made our own costumes...the others are cheapy store bought versions)

It's been a long and tiring Halloween much so that we ended up not even wanting to do anything on the actual Halloween night (we ended up walking to downtown Burbank to see a parade of dogs who were in costume).

We spent the week designing our costumes to enter the contest at Nickelodeon.

(I think we lost because our Mario purchased his costume)

My wife painted the coinbox on all sides (acrylics on cardboard box).  I took rain gear overalls and spray painted them purple (you wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a pair of overalls of any color, much less a men's size).  I originally had a different hat that was more 'on model' for the kinds of hats Mario, Luigi, and Wario wear, but while spray painting worked out on the overalls, it wasn't terribly friendly with the hat - so I had to settle for a yellow baseball cap.  I purchased an Indiana Pacers cap (because it was yellow) and used an exacto knife to cut off the logo.  Then I took white felt and cut a half circle (for the hat), and black felt and cut out three W's (one for the hat and one for each glove) and a mustache.  Then I took some white acylic paint and painted the white buttons on the front of Wario's overalls.  The final touch was to take two grocery bags and fill them with wadded up paper to round out Wario's pudgy figure.
You almost can't tell the difference

I also decided to work on a pumpkin design that was a lot harder than anything I've ever attempted before.  It turned out to be quite easy, if a little time consuming.  All you have to do (to get a good design) is print out what you want to do and tape it to the front of the pumpkin.  Then I used an exacto knife to trace the lines into the pumpkin, and a pumpkin knife to cut the chunks out.  It was just that easy!  What nice too, is that I found a little flashlight thing (for 2 dollars) at toys-r-us that acts like a candle, complete with yellow flickering light - and it's better than a candle, because it takes hours to go out.
 In the light it's not as impressive (which is what I blame losing on).
 Here's a close-up of it lit
 and a better shot of it

And, of course, this means I'm going to have to really step it up for the pumpkin carving contest the next year - now that I know this isn't as hard as it looks.
 See ya next halloween!
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