English / Castellano


by Topher McCulloch

from Chicago, Illinois, USA

For the past year and a half, I've been drawing digitally using SketchBook Pro for the iPad. Starting with a photograph, I recreate the image in my own wavery hand and block out the background and figure using garish color fields. The drawings have been part of my make something awful every day project, which is an art exercise meant to loosen me up and improve my skills through repetition and practice. 

Since I use a lot of friends for reference, most of my drawings tend toward the beardy hipster otter type. For Bears, Illustrated I felt I should draw someone a little burlier. Working from a photo I took on a, let's say interesting, late winter/early spring night from three years ago, I bulked up an already very hairy friend to fit the bill. I kind of actually hate March since it's never warm enough to feel like spring and I'm always in the throes of cabin fever after the long, dark, and freezing winter. It's a month of mud, freezing rain, slush and surprise blizzards, but hopefully my friend in his barista apron (or should I say bearista? no, probably not) is someone you wouldn't mind getting a little stir crazy with, good decisions be damned.

This drawing was a great exercise since I had to work larger than my iPad allowed, which required me to draw it in three pieces, composite it in Photoshop, and then make overall tweaks and cleanups to the work on my desktop. I also don't normally draw backgrounds, but I'm really happy with how the sketchy quality of the floorboards, bookshelf, and wall turned out. It's something I'll explore more in the year to come. 

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Sketches will be published soon!