Thursday, August 20, 2009


Art created for the weekly illustration challenge site, This is my take on the subject “Wrapped”.

“Wrapped” started with the octopus. I liked the idea of using its out-jutting tentacles as a framing device for the picture. I considered using a modern day diver, or an unfortunate swimmer as his victim, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was making the picture more mundane than required. Since there were no restrictions (and I’m already using a monster octopus) why not delve completely into the realm of fantasy, and make its victim into a mermaid?

There you have it. She’s wrapped.

The final image with a more restricted color palette.

I consciously limited the palette and degree of brushwork in this piece, modifying my painting style to match up with the sort of quick-turnaround work seen in magazine spot illustrations. I was shooting for two days, but the work took a little longer than expected – maybe 2.5 days in total.

The final sketch, drawn on a half sheet of 9”x12” Strathmore Sketch paper.

Basic color tones, plus “paper bark parchment” texture from I was glad to see that a little texture could bring the Octopus to life. Almost no shading or painting required. A nice trick when you can pull it off.

Color + dramatic shading.


  1. Incredible work! I love your choice of color with warm and cool contrast, and so nicely drawn. I also enjoyed reading about how it was composed. Great job!

  2. holy, sucks to be her! this is outstanding!

  3. Great work. Love seeing the in progress images

  4. Very impressing. High quality work.

  5. Wonderful! Beautifully rendered and composed.

  6. Thank you for showing your progression! That was awesome of you, and such a cool final piece. I will be keeping my eye on you!