Friday, January 23, 2015

Aston Villa: Cartoon Mascots

I've been producing the artwork for the Junior Villa Life (JV Life) for a few years--- I even used the characters, and an actual commission, to illustrate one of my tutorials on how I draw a comics page, all of which can be found on my cartoon tutorial page. The main characters are Hercules (the big muscular one), Bella (the leaping lady) and Chip (the techie, speedy one), are the anthropomorphisms of the clubs mascots.

Over the years I've produced a large body of work for JV Life--- some I have enjoyed creating more than others. And today  I would like to share just a few with you, along with my reasons for why they were such a pleasure to produce.

With this page it was simply the weather. I love drawing wind, rain and snow; in fact any extremes of weather. I particularly enjoyed the downward view in panel 7; it was just great when I got the slashing motion of the rain as it pummelled Hercules from above; I think it really added to the overall effect.

Students of the comics page and its colour balancing techniques may also like to know that when drawing murky days and gloomy settings, that darkening the shade of your characters natural colour will all add to the over-all look.

This is the second page from above and the action moves inside. With this page I still kept the dark colours on the main characters to darken the mood.

But seeing as this IS a children's comic, I had to lighten the mood.This came when designing the villain, Captain Splash. What I liked about this particular super Nemesis of the three Villa mascots was his umbrella head; it just made me smile and looked right. Villa though so to.

Normally I dislike producing caricatures in comics pages as it makes them clumsy and cumbersome; the people you caricature never have the same flow as the other cartoon characters on the page and can look a bit stiff.

But that said, my reason for including this page---despite the caricatures--- is simply panels 3 and 5. I just loved the whole shading look in panel 3 and the action in panel 5.

That's it really. Nuff said.

These two are here simply because I loved the action.

Both pages were amongst the very early cartoons I produced for Aston Villa, when the remit seemed to be action, more action and all out action. 

 love doing this, but sadly as they had new masters at the department that commissioned the magazine, they wanted to move away from the slapstick action style that seems to permeate through my style, and move into more story lead ideas.

It's been a while since I drew the last one and I hope there will be more. I think these characters have so much more to give and with the right direction could be so much more than they are at present.

Anyway, I love producing the work and hope that you have enjoyed the snippet trip down my memory lane.

All that is left to point out that all cartoons are the intellectual and actual property of Aston Villa FC, but the fun and love that went into producing them was all mine.


PS: and as an aside, I've just noticed that the first ever post I produced for this blog was about these characters. Click here to view it.

It does seem strange that my blog is now five years old. I must write about that and maybe make a list of some of the highlights...maybe next week. Maybe...

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