I had a bit of fun recently doing a mashup of Heckle & Jeckle and Hall & Oates. It was a lot of fun to do and makes me laugh at the absurdity of mixing magpies and rock stars.
Where the Idea Began
The idea for the piece came from a post by the wonderfully talented Luke Flowers. He posted a mashup of a magpie and Magnum P.I., and as a lover of 80s pop culture, I thought it was awesome. Luke did the piece for a blog about children's picture books (another subject close to my heart) called Magpie That (www.magpiethat.com) created by James Syner. So as ideas usually do, it began to scratch and whine for me to let it out of my brain. I happen to know a couple of magpies, being of age to remember watching Paul Terry's Heckle and Jeckle. But what to mash them up with? Music is also one of my favorite subjects, so how about a music duo? Maybe one from the 80s...yes, one from the 80s...wait a minute! Hall and Oates! Now the idea was absolutely howling to get out!
Vh1 Behind the Art
Before beginning the project I wanted to think about how I was going to make it. As with any new piece, I thought about parameters to challenge myself or exploring a different process. Since Heckle and Jeckle are animated cartoon characters, I decided to stay away from vector and do a line art style similar to how cartoons used to be made. The line art was traced on to a cel and colored from the opposite side to preserve the line art.
Another change is I began the project by sketching digitally with Sketchbook Pro. It's not that I don't sketch this way at all, but typically I begin a project on paper.
After the sketches were done, I printed them out on a large sheet of paper (well, I started digitally anyway!). With the characters printed out, I made few refinements with a non-photo blue pencil and then did the line work with a Papermate pen.
In Photoshop (after scanning in the line art) I cleaned up any stray marks picked up from scanning and started to paint in the colors. I worked on layers underneath the line art. I wanted an opportunity to experiment with Kyle Webster's photoshop brushes on this project. There are so many nice ones (I have the Megapack) you could easily go nuts and overdo it with all the cool brushes!
This was such a fun project! I hope you get a chuckle out of it too and maybe it will inspire you do you something absurd. :)