Spotted nutcracker

This illustration snuck up to me, took me hostage and didn’t let me go until I got it out of the system.
I had planned to work on something different that day, but while walking up to the workstation, the idea for this artwork came to my mind. Like I usually do I made a quick sketch, added a couple of notes, saved the file to be reopened at a later date and opened the illustration I had planned for that day. But my mind kept drifting back to this one.
And so I reopened this one, closed the other one, picked up the guidebook to look for a bird to use for this idea, decided on the “Tannenhäher – Spotted Nutcracker” and then went to work.

There was very little experimentation on this artwork. I spent some time figuring out the initial bird shape – what to simplify, where to use curves vs. straight lines etc.

Maike looked at my screen at this point and commented that I could leave the illustration like this.
My response to this: “No! There has to be fire!” So I let it rain fire.

This is the crop of the illustration at 100% zoom, so you can see what the noise layering looks like at the full size I work on.

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