Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saturday Morning Redux, Part 3: The Groovie Goolies

 It didn't take more than a simple request from a friend on Facebook to get me to draw these guys. Like Fangface & The Impossibles, The Groovie Goolies were one of my very favorite cartoons when I was a kid. Firstly, they were the monster relatives of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, who was my first cartoon crush. That and the fact that they were cartoony versions of Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, & the Wolfman made me instantly love them.
 The problem is, when I really sat and took a look at the original designs, my first thought was that they were pretty perfect as is. There isn't much that I would change. Then I reached into my 5-year-old brain and thought of the things that I didn't like about them when I was a kid. For starters, it bothered me that Wolfie just looked like a bearded hippie. Yeah, I get that they were supposed to be groovy, but aside from the fact that he had a funky howl, I remember thinking that there wasn't much that was very wolf-like about his design. If he resembled any kind of animal at all, he looked more like an orangutan. So I wolfed him out. I tried to still keep the hippie-factor, but made his facial hair look less like a beard and got rid of those two big dopey hair-antennae, which I never liked. And I gave him wolf teeth.
NOTE TO ARTISTS DRAWING MONSTERS: Vampires have fangs, werewolves have a sharp underbite! Get it right already, jeeez!
So this is how he turned out (with the original on the left for comparison):
 Next it was on to Drac. Drac was tough, because I really like this design. The only thing that bothered me about him when I was a kid was that he seemed to much like a crabby old man. And again, I get that it's probably what they were going for, but I think you can achieve the same personality while making him a bit younger and a bit more cool. After all, the whole concept was that these were cool modern monsters of the 1970's right? To be honest, if I was REALLY going to redesign him, I'd probably put him in an Austin Powers type of suit, but I didn't want to stray too much from the original. This is how he turned out (again, with the original design on the left for comparison):
 Lastly, there was Frankie. Again, there wasn't much I'd change here. His face is really great and I love his posture. The only thing I wanted to really change was to make him a little less skinny & frail. His design looked like he was the Frankenstein monster's grandpa. So I made him a little more thick & weighty with big meaty hands, because I like the top-heavy aspect of the original design. He's just a great big oaf. But I still wanted to keep the gentle nature to his face, and that great curl of hair in front of his ear. Why? I don't really know, but I love it! Here's how he turned out (yes, with the original on the left again for comparison):
And finally, here's the gang all together:
And the black line art, so you can see what was going on before I added color. Up until recently, I've been holding off on doing any finished line art, because I haven't learned how to ink on a Wacom yet (and everyone's already moved on to cintiqs!). So what you're looking at is simple micron pens, scanned and colored in Photoshop. Which is cleaner than pencil roughs, and will have to do for now until I fully join the digital world.
 Hope you guys like them as much as I do! Feel free to leave comments, critiques, suggestions, and offers of jobs with lots & lots of money. ;-)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Face Off Unlimited

The boys from Face Off Unlimited asked me to draw an image of them for their upcoming podcast (which launches this Friday, June 15). This image will be up on their site and each week we'll add images & props to the room that correspond with that show. So eventually it'll be a big cluttered mess, and I'm kinda looking forward to that. Here's the room bare bones, with the boys just chillin' on the couch. The gorgeous colors are by my friend VJ Comando, one of the best colorists in the animation biz here in NYC! I worked with him on PBS' "Maya & Miguel", and he makes my work look AMAZING. Check it out:

Note the bad-ass poster in the righthand corner. ;-)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Marceline the Vampire Queen

Recently I've become a pretty big fan of  "Adventure Time" on Cartoon Network. And of course my favorite character is the vampire queen, Marceline. Since I've been slightly obsessed with these Hanna-Barbera redesigns (I have so many more coming that are now in the sketch/thumbnail stage), I thought I'd try my hand at the Adventure Time crew, starting with Marceline. This time I did some inking for a change. Not in Illustrator, and not anything fancy, just with micron pens. I've been swamped in freelance work and can't afford to spend the time on really good quality inks. But I thought I'd post something a little more finished than the usual pencil roughs. I will however share my thumbnail sketch, which was pretty much just done from memory.
Then I looked online for a more accurate representation of her, and surprisngly found tons & tons of actual model sheets from the show. Pretty handy!
Then I did a cleaner drawing and added my personal flair to her while still trying to maintain a nod to the original design, which I love. Then I inked it up with microns and colored it in photoshop. Since my son Griff is a pretty huge fan of the show (and my toughest critic), and I want this design to be appealing to Adventure Time fans, I had him over my shoulder as my art consultant. It's still a bit grainy, but much more finished looking than my usual roughs. All in all, I'm pretty happy with her and can't wait to start on Jake & Finn. Hope you guys like it!

Here's the black micron outline:

And the finished color design: