My latest promo card went out this month. An exercise in vintage summertime nostalgia (with a lighthearted nod at global warming), it was inspired by the current DC heat wave, childhood vacations at the Jersey shore, and Nashville’s iconic Edgehill polar bears.
I always begin an illustration by gathering photo references for inspiration, then play fast and loose with them. Sometimes too fast and loose. In this first version my elongated Modigliani polar bear just wasn’t bearlike.
So I went back to my sources. Got rid of the rubber bulb nose and tweaked the proportions (this is where it helps to keep characters on separate layers). Changed his fur from cool white to French vanilla to create more contrast with the background.
Here’s the final illustration. Peppermint or pistachio, anyone?