Tag Archives: watercolor

Crying Kid Eating Predatorial Animals: The How-To post

Okay, so I did this with the Hetfield album cover and I did this for the Furey’s show screen printed flyer and I kind of did it for the Brainfest flyer too…

so here I’ll go into detail about how I did the Weak Teeth album art (not sure what their plans are for releasing it at this point).

Okay, so as with all the stuff, basic layout started in Photoshop from cut up stock images. It was essentially a long kind of dull process finding the right images, cutting them out, placing them on the background, etc. etc. and I won’t really go into detail about that since it’s just the skeleton of the whole thing. Suffice it to say, that after several hours of mundane photoshoppery, I had this image at 16×16:


AHHHH But damn, that’s a lot to draw and paint. And the concept is that the front cover has the kid being the prey, but then on the back he’s shown having eaten all of his attackers:


So, that’s two fully painted and inked 16×16 drawings? AH! But I’m a super genius at being lazy. So what I actually printed to work from were these things:

4 BG 3

The tree stump is in the lower right of each of them so that when all was done, I could use the stump as the anchor and rotate the scans until they fit just right. So then came the drawing. The idea is that I’d only have to draw the background once and I could just pop the different foregrounds over it, so instead of two 16×16 painted illustrations, it really added up to a 16×16, a 14×12, and an 8×10. The background of the forest and all that was the largest (and least interesting) to do, so only doing it once kind of ruled.

Hours upon hours of making little scratches on paper. Here are photos, pretend this took you a month.

2 5a6aBACK_1BG_BK

Okay, so drawing is complete. Went through a couple pens on this.

Now to paint. What I did for that, which is different from the Hetfield process, was actually scan the drawings and print those out with registration marks in the corners. For Hetfield, I trace-painted using the photoshop printout I had used to draw from. Here, remembering that scanning the large drawing in chunks and piecing it together resulted in parts of the drawing being slightly off from the original, I opted to paint using the final drawn piece as the basis. This led to a much closer match when I placed the ink layer on top of the color.

So here’s how that worked out. Remember, I did the background, front cover foreground, and back cover foreground all separate.

BG_COLOR FRONT_2 BACK_2Not super impressive, I know. But check this out:


then the back cover foreground:


then the background for both:


The color is there purely to get…well, a color. All the depth and shading comes from the inks. With the Hetfield album cover, I was aiming for a more surreal painterly look. Here, I was going for a coloring book vibe, or even old comics where the color was flat.

So the guys in the band told me a lot of the themes they’d been exploring lyrically were related to people telling you to grow up and be an adult and all that. And the album title is “So You’ve Ruined Your Life” which I took as an authority figure looking at you as a totally devoted punk rocker down on your luck saying “well that’s what you get for being so childish, what else could you possibly expect?” So to really get nerdy medium-is-the-message about it, with the message being, to me at least, about being empowered by the thing you love that everybody else says is immature…I used a cheap children’s watercolor set and some really old German kid’s crayons for the whole thing. There’s not one drop of a “professional” art supply on the color layer.

So yeah, those three parts were scanned and pieced together and then this was the end result:


Continuing with the theme of being told this sort of “obviously you were going to fail, you don’t understand the world and you need to grow up” thing…the kid wins and was using himself as bait. I like that. The back cover, to me at least, is one big bloody “O RLY?!” punchline.

And that’s that. Hurrah.

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