Monday, September 25, 2006

A look back...


After work I gotta jump start. I was determined to get this week's Outsider Art drawing done before Friday. The theme was "TV Dinner" in a 50's style. I always seem to procrastinate til Wednesday or Thursday before I even put pencil to paper - but this week would be different. Or so I thought...

I started with this little baby right here:

Taschen makes a mean reference book. I own this one covering ads of the 50's but they publish a book for every decade. I picked out a few images I generally liked. A few toy ads that were 2 or 3 color printed - the pages were black with ink. I would show 'em to ya but with the small size of the book and the tight spine, it woulda yeilded some bad scans.


I turned to everyone's favorite internet resource: Google. I nabbed a buncha stuff I thought looked cool or represented a direction I wanted to go. I began thinking about B-movie posters and sci-fi/horror movies of the 50's. That'd be fun so I stuck with it. This image was most inspiring and I referred to it for fonts and composition:

I was still attracted to the limited color palette like the ads I found in the book. I could see similarities in what I was drawn to overall so this seemed to be a good route.


At some point during the work day I came up with a list of elements relating to the theme that I wanted to include. This would help me visualize the TV dinner/monster idea in the end:

  • it came from the refrigerator
  • salisbury steak
  • mothra poster
  • turquiose/black/limited colors
  • glasses
  • mushroom cloud/background

You can see I started to get the mental image. The mushroom cloud and the glasses never made it - not sure why. "Glasses" referred to the stylish frames women would wear studded with rare gems. And Salisbury steak I just think is funny. Visually there was already enough to work with so I guess that explains why these got cut.

When I got home I started drawing TV dinners. Here they all are in chronological order:

For the most part these are all pretty horrible, but the represent me working out ideas. Immediately I knew I had to figure out the TV dinner and I knew I wanted sort of a low angle. I had to look up how TV dinners were divided and how would I show it visually. I got thinking about putting a face on the dinner and maybe I could use the food to form the eyes, nose, and mouth. I really wanted to make a mushroom nose work but it just wasn't happening. I tried a few things and I'm not sure I should have given it a face at all in the end. Maybe it woulda been better faceless? Just a tray of food standing there? I opted for a few important features regardless - eyes and a mouth. Making him a cyclops solved some visual problems for me with two eyes. I sorta pictured the eyeball nestled in a pool of mashed potatoes and I doodled this wavy/blobby sorta shape in that top compartment. It's sorta abstract and just a strange shape so then I figured this would be more graphic anyway. Seemed to make sense with limited colors and shapes which I hoped would be reflect of the fifties.


What the? Where did the time go? I should be finishing the coloring at this point! The ultimate problem this particular week was that I was only dedicating an hour or two per night - really kinda dragging it out. Though I did get to sleep early this past week :)

I still needed some horrified people in the foreground and then arrange the entire composition with the text. The first people I drew were somewhat more realistic:

They woulda worked fine, but I guess I wanted somethin' a bit more fitting style wise with some bug out eyes 'n' such. Then I had some fun drawing a few different hands for the monster. I really like drawing hands because they're challenging and and I like experimenting with different styles - I feel like you see how the artist thinks a lot by looking at how he or she has drawn the hands. Anyway, I tried a few different things. I kept it simple in the end and I did want 5 fingers:

I put all the pieces together in Photoshop and started "Flashing it out" (that's gold baby...):
I drew a few lines in Flash and fell asleep at the computer...


Didn't get around to finishing it up til Sunday after the Bears game. There's some things with the composition and readability of the text that are certainly "iffy" but for whatever reason I was able to let some things slide. I guess I felt the general feel/theme was more important. Oh, the colors are very hot in the final image and Blogger's compression seems to screw with them. The reds shouldn't be this dingy and blurry in this post but I've wrestled with this problem before. I can't seem to get images looking any better:
And there you have it. A little bit of a mental journey. Sorry I didn't get into the software side of things, but I dig the mental process way more than the technical stuff. Hope ya like!


DJ Smack Mackey said...

AWESOME! I want a full size poster of this!!! Can you give me a poster rez image of it so I can print it out at Kinko's?

Jeff Milner said...

I agree with what DJ Smack Mackey wrote above. This is fantastic. I usually just read your posts in my feed reader, but for some reason I felt compelled to say I really enjoyed reading about the process and seeing the final image.

Dave Pryor said...

Great idea including the process on this one - there are so many stages of exploration - it makes sense why the end result came out so well.

The end monster came out perfectly. I can't imagine if you stopped at one of those previous ones and said "good enough". Obviously, some of the elements came out at the Flash stage. Sometimes that part can make or break an image for me.

Good thing you spent the extra time to get to that final result!

justinpatrickparpan said...

This might me the coolest thing I’ve seen all day, maybe even all week. Swell work as always Bob. It’s always a pleasure dropping by your little site!

Jav said...

Wowie WOW Boob!
You reign supreme on this one here!
Fantastic idea, and great execution!
That egg yolk eyeball?... Genius I say!
And great tracking of your process, love the insight...
You da man like Rex Grossman, throwing 4th quarter touchdowns and shit....

K McLeod said...

I agree with the others in the greatness that is the T.V. Monster and I love the way you design hands but what happened to the E in the word THE? Showing no love for the little scamp? Great post I like seeing a working pro share there thought process, so if you feel compelled to show the how ya did it again please do.


Bruno Werneck said...

ha! it was definetly worth all the brainstorm & research!

Kanishka. Muthuthanthri said...

Awsome Work Bob

Finally got a chance to come down here and leave you a comment.

It was very cool meeting you down at comic con

I ll be in touch


piero said...

very well done, this mix of old american horror movies and new illustration style.are you of italian origin?

dex mission said...

very Saul Bass. i love it. thanks for sharing :)

Kevin Barber said...

Wow. Very cool of you to post your process on this Bob. Very informative.Always facinating. I enjoyed the journey. It was like i was in your head man. Like in being John Malkovich. Really cool peice. Turned out great.

Samy Erdini said...

Hi theree!! weeeeeeeeeeee
Nice Blogg post! I love it


Miah Alcorn said...

Dude... this is the exact reason that I swore off TV dinners! Great piece Mr. Boob! Lookin' forward to the next post!

boob said...

Thanks to the whole gang here! I couldn't be more pleased with the reaction from everyone. I'm grateful y'all dig the process. I'm always wary about how much technical/mental mumbo jumbo people can tolerate. Thanks again for the comments and encouragement

ridd1 said...

freakin AWESOME! i NEED a print of this thing.

eel bog said...

Holy crap! this piece is freakin Great!! It made me spaz out a little. Nice colours too.

Dave Pryor said...

Oh yeah - now you own the poster of Mothra too!

That poster is PWNED!!1!!!

Darryl Young said...

(that's all I'm sayin')

miss 3awashi t said...

digging the mental process. i should so think before i draw too :P