02 The Making Of

So, the making of the AWOL Owl! I decided that if I really wanted this blog to go further than my previous blogs, I had to do everything -or nearly everything- from scratch, using minimal resources from other websites. And as we all know, it all starts with a good mascot :)

Hooting for Inspiration

I actually have no idea how to hand-draw owls, honestly. So I had to Google and sift through info overload (and the resulting inferior feelings from really really good illustrations). Below are four favourites!


Photoshop time!

 Thank goodness for the myriad of basic shapes available. Go to 'Custom Shape Tool'. There're animal silhouettes (which I must start using immediately), cartoon faces (which I've used previously in blogskins), patterns, etc etc.

I looked at the attributes I liked most from my favourite illustrations and pulled them together. I also knew I wanted my owls to wear shades, because, you know, they're suspiciously AWOL and all that. PLUS... I really like pastels. And seafoam. So the main colour palette was already pretty much decided (can I further convince you that seafoam + light orange are a really good mix?).

To add some texture, I looked up corrugated texture to get that uneven, 3D lined feel for the main body. (Oddly enough, inspiration for this came from a visual error: the Photoshop page showed the owl as being striped when it actually wasn't, and I thought it looked better that way, so I added it in). I also used the brush tool to add some strange splotchy fur (experimented with this for a while; it might've been flowers, haha!).

The final products are the result of feedback from my parents: to add shading for the shades so it wasn't too one-note; to make the eyes open so it wasn't sleeping, and make the pupils bright and visible; and, most importantly, limit myself to 2-3 shades so it was "easier to remember" (thanks, Dad!).

Lessons from the maestros indeed.

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