Tracing Bigfoot’s Steps

As promised here is my journey through Bigfoot country.  I commenced by reading the wiki entry for Bigfoot. More specifically I looked at all the footnotes at the bottom of the Wikipedia entry, which was a source of much entertainment. I decided to go with the anecdote about Bigfoot’s distinct odor problem, which inspired the following scribbles:notes


This is pretty typical of my thought process. I made a column for “Odor” and a column for “Bigfoot” and  wrote whatever came to mind, no filter. I was looking for something that would click. By the black arrows, you can see that under “Bigfoot” I wrote “the woods” and under “Odor” I drew a pine tree car deodorizer. A-ha! My idea was born.

Next I did this little sketch:



I thought the creature design was simple and fun, and I wasn’t going to stray too far from it in my final design, but those trees needed some love!  I went to a local auto parts shop and picked up some air-fresheners and photographed my own references:



Then I photoshopped my imagery together, painting in some trees, and adding shadows:



From here I was able to produce a more finished sketch:



Now that I was satisfied with my drawing, I needed to decided on some colors!  I used Photoshop to quickly test out a color palette:

color test



And from here I could pick out my gouache/watercolor paints and do swatch tests on paper:



I used Saral graphite transfer paper to transfer the image to my surface (I used Arches 140lb cold press block) and then started painting:


Here’s what it looks like after painting the first layer and placing my drawing on top. (Note that I have my drawing taped in place, so I can transfer different parts in stages, after paint layers have been put down and dried):


Here are some subsequent layers and details being painted in:



Homestretch!  Just need some branches…



and finally:



I ended up not painting his neckline, but I prefer it this way. (I didn’t want it to seem like he was wearing some kind of mask).   This was the first time I painted such a big painting (18″ x 24″) with gouache(and I am still new to gouache in general) so I was pretty happy with the results.

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