Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Born To Be Vile

The summer quarter kicked off with a design competition at Threadless.com for a T-shirt featuring one (or several) of select Disney villains. Bad guys in books and movies often have more personality and panache than the heroes, so this was bound to be fun.

At the start, I had no idea which one(s) I wanted to depict, so I started doodling and quickly ended up with a few messy pages of chaotic little sketches to get (re)acquainted with some of the characters:

In looking at this soup of doodles, I knew I wanted some sort of twist to the idea, so I decided to focus on depicting some of the villains as kids and made a few more small sketches of young Cruella, Facilier, and Ursula:

I liked little Cruella with her cigarette, and Dr. Facilier with a missing baby-teeth gap, but I really went for the bug-eyed infant Ursula, the sea witch from Little Mermaid. At first I put her in a walker, with all those tentacles sticking out, but decided later to put her in a baby pool, complete with trident rattle and seashell pacifier—the evil-queen-of-the-sea-in-training.

I enlarged my little pencil sketch, cleaned it up, and imported it into Photoshop as a template to paint over:

As the painting progressed, I decided to add Ursula's eel minions, Flotsam and Jetsam (also as babies), sketching them first:

The basic shapes were drawn and filled in with solid colors (following the character's colors in the movie), then shaded with a digital airbrush effect. Here is the final design, as submitted to Threadless:

Monday, July 9, 2012


Greetings! I've decided to set up a little blog to post about my process for various illustration projects while in grad school. Hope you enjoy.