|Final artwork for Al Jardine's Hurry Up Hurry Up Santa Claus drawn by Guy Gilchrist with colors by Philip A. Buck
Hello everybody! I wanted to share this with you all before Christmas. Back in August, I had yet another opportunity to do some color work for THE Guy Gilchrist, but this project was a little big different. He was hired to do the artwork for a Christmas single by Al Jardine (Yes, THE Al Jardine! As in the The Beach Boys!) When Guy asked if I could color his artwork, my reply was a speedy, "Yes!" The final image is above. As you can see it features Al Jardine & Rudolph in an updated version of Santa's sleigh. Pretty fun, huh?!
When I'm working on the digital color art for a project that has a color palette that's already established (like the characters in VeggieTales comics) or when I'm working on a project that needs to evoke a certain style or mood (like this one,) I'll often gather together color samples & reference images into one page that I can leave open in whatever program I'm using. As you can see above, I used this reference page to narrow down the colors while getting a grasp on on what stylistic approach I wanted to use- Classic Christmas meets The Beach Boys!
|The fantastic original black & white drawing by Guy Gilchrist!
Above is the original black & white drawing that Guy sent me. Isn't it great? He really knocked it out of the park! I knew right away this one would be lots of fun. Below you can see what the illustration looked like after I added color flats, shadows, highlights, light effects/haze & colored the lines. I really wanted to go with that charming old school Christmas vibe Guy was hinting at, so I used a lot of Kyle Webster's custom Photoshop brushes to get that soft yet painterly look. What a game-changer those brushes can be!
|Drawn by Guy Gilchrist colored by Philip A. Buck
After all of that hullabaloo was accomplished, I set my sights on the meteorological aspects of the picture: SNOW! But what kind of snow?!
Here are just two of quite a number of different versions I tried with snow. Some snow was more flakey, some more fluffy, some big & some large. These were the two I sent to Mr. Gilchrist, (along with the snowless version above,) to give him & the client plenty of options.
When coloring Mr. Jardine's hair, I noticed that in some of my reference the hair was more brown or reddish, while in other images it was more blonde. I tried to color it with a color that was in between them all. Later, I received word that the client wished for the hair color to be more blonde, so it was back into Photoshop for me! Now I can say I'm also that kind of colorist too, in a sense.
|Final artwork for Al Jardine's Hurry Up Hurry Up Santa Claus drawn by Guy Gilchrist & colored by Philip A. Buck
(Trumpets sound!) Here it is!!! The final artwork used for the single, Hurry Up Hurry Up Santa Claus by Al Jardine (without the final text they added later.) I have to say, I'm pretty happy with out it turned out! Funnily enough, as far as I can tell, this image has only been used on Al Jardine's social media for promoting the song. The image that accompanies the single on iTunes & elsewhere is a completely different one. Go figure! I'm sure there is a good reason for that, but I'm not in the loop enough to know it. haha! I was rather pleased however, to see this online bright & bold! I'm very thankful for having had the opportunity to work on it.
You can find Al Jardine's song HERE. You can find more of Guy Gilchrist's work HERE and HERE. And remember, my sister, Mary Morris's New Christmas Album, Mary Morris: Home For Christmas is still available (& now only $10!) HERE.
Well, that's the whole kit and caboodle (whatever that means!) Thanks for checking it all out. I sure hope you all have a delightful & glorious Christmas & happy holidays! May God bless us, everyone!!!