Daryl Heckle and Jeckle Oates

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. 

Ingredients: 1 Heckle, 1 Jeckle, 1/2 cup of Hall, 1/2 cup of Oates, 1 Tbsp Keytar, a sprinkle of Miami Vice and bake with absurdity for two days. 

Ingredients: 1 Heckle, 1 Jeckle, 1/2 cup of Hall, 1/2 cup of Oates, 1 Tbsp Keytar, a sprinkle of Miami Vice and bake with absurdity for two days. 

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!

Art by Luke Flowers mashing up a magpie and Magnum P.I. (for magpiethat.com) which inspired the Daryl Heckle and Jeckle Oates piece. 

Art by Luke Flowers mashing up a magpie and Magnum P.I. (for magpiethat.com) which inspired the Daryl Heckle and Jeckle Oates piece. 

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. 

Sketching digitally in Sketchbook Pro. My preferred tool of choice for sketching on screen. 

Sketching digitally in Sketchbook Pro. My preferred tool of choice for sketching on screen. 

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. 

Line art for Daryl Heckle done on paper with a Papermate pen. I scanned this in later for processing and coloring in Photoshop.

Line art for Daryl Heckle done on paper with a Papermate pen. I scanned this in later for processing and coloring in Photoshop.

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!

Painting in the colors on layers underneath the line art in Photoshop. Color palette courtesy of late 80s/ early 90s posters and TV shows. I'm looking at you, Miami Vice. 

Painting in the colors on layers underneath the line art in Photoshop. Color palette courtesy of late 80s/ early 90s posters and TV shows. I'm looking at you, Miami Vice. 

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. :)