Imagine FX are holding their Monthly art contest. The brief of the contest is "Kids TV Grown Up" I picked a show that was very close to my heart, Samurai Jack.
For those of you who don't know Samurai Jack was about a samurai who fought an evil wizard. When the final blow was about to be struck the evil wizard (Aku) created a rip in time and flung the samurai into the future. I think the opening explains all you need to know.
This show was like nothing I had ever seen before. The story was extremely well written but the thing that has always stuck in my mind was how experimental it was. The art direction was simply -->
genius but one seen will stick with me as a reminder of what and animated show can do that live action cannot. This is the reason I still watch cartoons.
The scene left so much of an impact on my and I do think that in a subconscious level it influenced my decision on becoming an illustrator. This is what Samurai Jack was about.
I am so glad that IFX made me relive this precious memory.
So here is my work. I wanted to keep with the vector like style because that was one of the things that gave the show its charm. Along the way I changed the thumbnail, as the composition was not strong enough. The idea was that Jack would be an old man yet his foe would remain very young.
Ideas complete I continued to illustrator. The next part was kind of new to me. Normally I would create the line art here but the thing with Samurai Jack was line art was barely used. The way the characters stood out was through high contrasting backgrounds. This eliminated the need for black lines. -->
The only time I would use lines was if the contrast on its own was not great enough. Examples of this are the chin line and the knee and sleeve of his Gi.
Next I added the facial features. I also added liver spots, wrinkles and grey hair. The moustache was added to aid the composition.
Next I redraw Aku in photoshop to get his expression of pain. I then import that layer into illustrator before working on his outline. I moved his form to emphasize the composition. -->
Next with the drawing of Aku's face I set to work on the details. Most vibrant colours will contrast and stand out against a white background. I also create his flaming eyebrows, beard and I fill in the loser half of his body. Just a simple black for this.
I import this to photoshop and get to work on the finishing touches. The gradient backdrop has noise added to it and I also add shards of Aku's body being flung.
I am really pleased with how this turned out. Much different to my usual work process. I still have a long way to go but this is feels like one of my strongest pieces. I feel more confident with colours now.
I will be working on studies very soon.
Just thought I would post the 2 smaller versions that I will on IFX.