pictures and words by paul mccall

December 2018
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The Burro Family Commission
Filed under: Studio Caricatures
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 4:59 pm

Here’s a step-by-step of a fun commission I just finished. I won’t go into why but the gentleman who commissioned this job wanted his family drawn on donkeys. He specified 3 donkeys for five family members. So I drew up this first sketch.

When he saw this he said he wanted all the donkeys facing forward. I pointed out that that design would obscure most of the bodies of the kids. Turns out he was just trying to make it easier on me by limiting the number of donkeys. So I added a donkey. He also mentioned that he was a fireman and could I change the ball cap on his head to a fire fighter’s helmet. And the daughter had won some karate trophies so I switched her breaking boards to holding the trophies since I had good reference for them.

The basics of the family were approved so I started firming up the drawing on the donkeys. All this work was done in Corel Painter X using the largest WACOM Intous digital tablet. I use different line colors on separate layers to differentiate between stages of the sketches on into the finish.

Here’s the line work for the whole family. Each on their own layer.

The client was interested in getting a print twice the size that I am able to print on my Epson 2200 printer so I tried to work with a file that was 360 pixels per inch and 22″ x 34.” I knew I couldn’t work with the totality of a file that size so I split each donkey and rider(s) into separate files for inking and painting. But the larger file was not to be. As I was working on the mustache of the Dad I would draw 3 or 4 hairs and sit and wait until the computer caught up with me. I had to reduce the file size to my usual 11″ x 17.” But, I sent out a sample file (the Groomsmen project) to see how that standard size file would look doubled in size. It looks fine, no degradation of line or color.

These are two of the separate files.

After completing all the family members (after five tries to get the baby’s face right - the right photo reference finally arrived) and doing the beach background it was completed and the regular size print and CD were delivered.

The large print is in the works.

2 Responses to “The Burro Family Commission”

  1. Henry V Says:
    Terrific job! Really very well done. I’m amazed that you could make this concept work with all the extras added to the various family members, but it does and brilliantly so.
  2. Emily Says:
    Niiiice job!!!