Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Life Size Batman


I'm really happy to share this with everyone. This was a personal project done for a couple friends at church who have two boys that love the Batman. I thought it'd be cool to create the Dark Knight and give to them as a gift (something to hang up at home). To be honest, this project was more for me... I had a BLAST creating this start to finish. In my spare time, I like to draw comic and cartoon characters for fun... the difference with this project was that it was going to be for someone, and that made it all the more fun and close to my heart. Also, my girlfriend Heidi was away on a mission trip for three weeks, so this was a nice way to keep busy :)

The first step was drawing little thumbnails. Then, when I found a pose I liked, Heidi took some reference photos of me modeling in the front of the mirror. It was pretty funny and I realized how cool she is and lucky I'm with her :) Even though the photo shoot might have been unnecessary, I really wanted to "kill it" on this project, so I did my homework and gathered as much reference before starting the project (anatomy books, photos, etc.)

Next, I drew out Batman with pencil and inks on bristol board and scanned him into the computer for digital coloring. Since the final piece was going to be around five feet tall, I scanned the artwork in at 1200 DPI! The final digital file was under 300 megabytes, but my PC is sort of dated so every time I opened it or saved it in Photoshop, it took about 3-4 minutes to finish. After the coloring was finished, and I showed the art to a few friends for critique, I made several more adjustments and brought him to the printer. At work we have a plotter printer that I used. I think it's inkjet instead of laserjet so the colors where a little "less true" to what was seen on the computer.

The file took 30 minutes to be read by the printer and printed! The funny thing was that it didn't print the whole image and cut off a little bit of his foot! I tried it a second time with different adjustments in white space around Batman and the same thing happened. It wasn't a big deal though; I just printed off the part of his foot that was missing on the laserjet printer and pasted it on top of the big version.


The color difference of the laserjet and the inkjet is a little obvious but not a big deal. Prior to the printing, I found a big piece of cardboard at the recycling center and used it as a backing to the print out. The print out was spray mounted on top of the cardboard and then using scissor and box cutter, I cut out a silhouette of Batman from the cardboard leaving a white boarder around the figure.



And here's the final digital artwork.


My favorite part of this project was coloring Batman on the computer. The coolest part though is that I got to do something I love and then share it with others. With the second print out that cut off at the foot, I gave to my coworker who also has kids who love Batman and it was hung up above one of their beds. He sent me a picture and his kid's bed has Batman bed sheets so it looks rad hanging above it!

Our pastor at church said something really cool that stuck with me. He encouraged us to use our passions and find a way to fill a "need" in the world. I can remember experiencing this amazing feeling of joy when I was drawing caricatures at theme parks. There's something about doing a piece of art for someone who really loves and appreciates it that is so rewarding. When you can give someone something that you loved creating... it's pretty awesome.

:)


4 comments:

Matthew said...

Looks good Taylor! Cool to see your art at life size :)

nicholas said...

Taylor, This turned out really well! What a fun project. Whatever changes you made, it came out great.
Thanks for sharing.

Taylor S Smith said...

Thanks, guys :)

minnie said...

HI, i have been looking for life size batman picture to put on my grandsons wall. I love this picture. Was wondering if i could use this picture too. i don't think i would be able to make it large like you did. i have an ancient printer and laptop too. Some day God will bless me with a new set but for now i am blessed. I just wanted to thank you for sharing this idea you had and God has truly blessed you with a talent.