Manic Monkey - Process

February 12, 2014

 Did a cool 'crazy monkey' illustration for this weeks episode of Horseshoes and Handgrenades podcast. Was an idea that I visualized during some minor technical mishaps lastnight and the commentary by the hosts that ensued about rabbid monkeys tearing at wires somewhere. And so I had the challenge to pursue this technology-loathing monkeyness. 
I really enjoyed just cutting loose on the stylization and what not of the monkey as I often withdrawal from such stylization and what not on peoples commissions. So when I get to just go all out with whatever wants outta my head I enjoy that.
In this case I enjoyed the evolution of loose subpar sketch, then the cool finished pencils and the inks and then the colors. So thought I'd toss up this for a process article today. Enjoy!

Check out the podcast that inspired this piece, and whom it was done for over at - weekly live airings and hundreds of previous recorded shows to keep you laughin for days!

Lol, well Its not something I'm proud of, but none the less its part of the process. The 'thumbnailing' stage where I go through constant retools and quick gestures and loose poses and compositions to figure out what I want to do. I was starting to think I was getting somewhere with this one - but very glad I kept going!
Take two came out way better - this the fleshed out pencils I refer to as rough pencil sketch - just before a tight pencil sketch. You can even see the loose 'thumbnailing' of the differences in the pose and such before fleshing it out this much and having him hanging from the wire rather than just pulling on them
Here is what I consider 'finished pencils' all cleaned up, only other thing I might do in this phase is add in black fill areas with some pencil shading and such. But everythings articulated and defined and setup so I can ink without thinking about redrawing anything I can just concentraate on line qualities and shapes of whats already here.
From Photoshop I move over into Inkscape, my go-to for inking lately, and use a mixture of thick and thin knib lines for the monkey, and pen tool and shapes for the wires/ connectors. Black fills on a layer above the lineart, and then going back in with white details after the balck fills to define space and shapes and details more
I then toss the inked art BACk into photoshop with a simple export and slap some colors on it. I felt the black and white art was pretty strong so didnt want to weigh it down with coloring. Just color the monkey - then I had the idea for the red background and a darker monkey with the teeth/ eyes brought out more - a little more sinister, and as if hes in a dark server room or something

Opted to remove the colored background and filter effects and just do straight up monkey on white background with a little bit of gradient. And so heres the finished product. Cropped a square version for use on HnH's episode post or what not, and sent them a couple copies.
Fun stuff, which version do you like better, the sinister red or the blotto white?

Any questions comments about this process I am willing to answer as best as possible if you comment with your questions etc below! Thanks for checking out this post. Most of these process posts are meant to further demonstrate the process of each piece commissioned, and give clients a better understanding of that process. Also hope somebody learns s omething from them, and if nothing else they inspire other artists out there!

Have a great week. Will be livestreaming Thursday Night at 830pmEST on a couple weekly slot commisisons. Also will be doing impromptu streams when working on slot orders during the week. See ya then!

And go see! Fun stuff.

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