The Devil Gets His Brew

The Devil Gets His Brew

Summary: A brief discussion of diabolical draftsmanship and details discovered during the creation of this devilish illustration. 

Ok, truth time.

I listen to the Grateful Dead… a lot.

I know a lot of you might be stunned, but I feel like I just need to come clean on this one.

Anyway… this project starts with the Grateful Dead song, “Friend of the Devil.” The refrain goes, “a friend of the Devil is a friend of mine.” Without going too far off the deep end here, part of what I draw from these lyrics is that we we are better served by befriending all the aspects of ourselves.

With this thought in mind, I started a series of sketches about the Devil. I wanted my devil to be impish, but not to go as far as one might imagine. I wanted him to be tricky, and maybe a little gullible too. Eventually, I invented this scene where an old Hag was slipping him some of the ol’ Love Potion #9. She tricked the Devil into falling in love!

A side note here, I’m interested in advertising characters, and want to point out the 9 volt Rayovac Cat on the love potion. The connection began with the number 9, and it seemed natural, or even super-natural, to include the iconic cat on the witch’s potion.

I solved a few unique problems for this illustration. One was that I had to really spend some time understanding the light and shadow shapes of the under-lit imaginary faces

The next challenge was how to go about painting a strong pink light on yellow and green skin.

“What color is that!” I thought.

The final challenge was how to create the holding line that goes around the outside of the design? To solve this problem, I cobbled together different pieces of a compass set to create this new tool. I used a small piece of an eraser to keep from poking a hole in the watercolor paper. #protip

Overall, my process for creating the final art is consistent with what I’ve posted in other blog posts. To summarize, starting with the sketch from my book, I made numerous drawings adjusting the composition, and used photo reference. Once I had a clean line drawing, I scanned it, and printed it very lightly onto watercolor paper. Next, using a red pencil I drew in the final line work, and built my painting from there. I used colored pencils to finish off the last details.

As ever, thank you for reading. I respond well to enthusiasm, so feel free to leave a comment here, drop me a line, or follow me on the Insta-tweet-a-books.

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