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Black Bear Rampage

I was hired recently by the nice guys who own Soctt’s Bikes in Tennessee, to create an image for a racing event they hold. I was asked to create an image of a leprechaun riding on the back of a black bear. Far, far away in the city lights of NYC, this made no sense to me at first. However, the company mascot is a leprechaun and they are racing through the woods, which in Tennessee is full of black bears. The racing event is called ‘Black Bear Rampage’, so it all makes complete sense now.

The fist difficulty I ran into was how to make this black bear look aggressive. I did my research and found images and videos of black bears before starting on the drawing. And what I found was that black bears are super cute. Their cuteness levels are up there with baby seals and the little abandoned dog at the end of that subaru commercial (watch it here!) But I imagine that if asked, I could probably draw an ‘attack’ baby seal too. So, I did some preliminary pencil sketches, piecing together the leprechaun and bear and swirls in photoshop and then dropped it all into illustrator and started the finishing process. So here is a slide show with some of the stages:

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At any rate, at this point it is in it’s final stages (I’m pretty sure) and am only debating about the color of the background swirls. Personally I prefer the brown one, but perhaps the red is more race-y and agressive?

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