Earlier this year a friend asked me to design a tattoo for them, incorporating a ‘low poly’ style bear and cat. They finally got it inked, so now its time to share the process sketches ~
The Initial sketch was provided for me – it got the basic idea across, but was a little too ‘wide’ – my job was to make a new design which was a little more compact and had more connection between the bear and cat.
I started by gathering references so I could study the essence of what makes a bear a bear, and what makes a cat a cat. Anatomical accuracy is pretty important even when the animal is abstract,helping to define the personality and mood of the creatures – the bear shouldnt look like it’s about to eat the cat !
Brown Bears are quite droopy, there’s power there, but the thick limbs and flat footed gait gives them a misleadingly slow appearance. Cats, on the other hand, are quite tight – like a coiled spring ready to go off at any moment.
Brainstorming interactions – early examples were a bit more ‘ bearcat fighting team yeah!’ but quickly pushed towards a more playful and friendly relationship.
The four more friendly thumbnails which were sent over to the client
‘A’ and ‘C’ were combined and redrawn in a ‘low poly’ style.
Figuring out which colours to use to get the right form was tricky as I was unsure what would actually look good on skin – so I went with what would create an impactful contrast based on the tattoo refs I could find which were close to this style.
The final composition was put together by the tattoo artist Dan Gold at Monsters of Art – London ( http://www.dangoldtattooclub.com/index.html ) – adding some extras here and there – and it looks pretty great!