Throwback Thursday: 2006 - From Oz And Back

June 16, 2016

#throwbackthursday #tbt #wizardofoz #oz 

I thought it would be fun to dive back as far as I could in my deviant art gallery for this week's piece. There was a TMNTurkeys piece from 2005, but I felt like this was the defining piece in my digital evolution at the time. This was drawn with pencil on a 11x17 (tabloid) sheet of paper, and inked with micron pens and sharpie. Then I scanned the two halfs as I had done back then to get the 11x17 on my computer using my 8.5x11 scanner. Then I colored it in photoshop, having no real clue what I was doing. I mean I basically knew how to color on one layer w/ lineart on multiply above it. But beyond that, it was trial and error and experimentation the entire time. I'm pretty sure it probably took me forever to finish. Also it looks like it was more of a painted style than a select and fill cellshade/ comic type style like i use now.
Despite its issues, it was one of the occasional types of works where it was absolutely inspired by a moment where i just became busting to do artwork of it. I remember I was watching Wizard Of Oz around thanksgiving time in 2006 and got inspired to do my own interpretation. Scarecrow would be sort of a shepard-ish, wobbly-kungfu master guy wit ha wooden stick as his weapon, the tinman would be a big logging machine that ran on a wood furnace/ steam or something and the cowardly lion would truly be intimidating and be over compensating for his cowardice by maintaining a fearsome look and portrayal of himself. Dororthy would be Dorothy of course but I made her younger, and big anime influenced bow/ hair. I realize I completely forgot to draw Toto and I decided this was them getting together to go rescue Toto from the evil witch... or something.
Its still one of my favorite pieces over all. Was #1 in my deviant art gallery for the longest time... who knows may still be. And I have a 24x36 print of it framed and hanging in my studio. 
I may not have really known what I was doing, but this was a landmark moment when I realized I really wanted to keep pursuing the digital medium ... get better at coloring. Eventually leading me to drawing/ inking digitally as well and overall improving every aspect of my 'comic style' aspirations.
Is funny, back then I thought everything looked cooler when you brought highlights out of blacks. But I had no idea what I was doing so everything at that time often had way too much black in it haha.
Alright, well hope you enjoy this look back at this 2006 artwork. This would have been a year after graduating college, and a year into my job at the time at an advertising agency. Still devoting much of my energy to graphic design and layout at my job, I did art like this for fun and it eventually turned into a career. Who-da-thunk-it?

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