Flashback Friday – Beastie Sketches

Hello everyone! I’ve something a little different for you this Flashback Friday – a retrospective of Beastie sketches, or “Sketch-rospective”, if you will!

It occurred to me recently that the sketches I draw for custom Beasties very rarely see the light of day. I do them, I send them to the customer, we finesse the details. Then I put the originals in a folder, stash the electronic versions in with the photos of the finished Beastie… And that’s it! So, how about we take a peek in those archives?

I had to look waaay back through my old sketchbooks to find my very first Beastie commission drawing. Check it out!Diver Beastie Sketches - CrawCrafts BeastiesPretty rustic, eh? Back then I was using “graduate” sketchbooks – books with a thick paper cover that are stapled together in the middle like a magazine – and sending my customers photos of the pages. That’s why you can see shadows down some of the sides!

I was also outlining with my favourite fountain pen, and colouring in by hand with coloured pencils. It took FOREVER! Especially for large areas of black, like this Grim Reaper Beastie from the following year.
Grim Reaper Beastie Sketch New - CrawCrafts BeastiesThat said, I did keep on drawing by hand for a good while afterwards! Here are a couple from back in 2017 – do any of you recognise these Beasties?
Cyclist Beastie Sketches - CrawCrafts Beasties
Cyclist BeastieSimon's Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties
Slartibartfast, who now hangs out with Simon of Simon’s SpaceDublin Football Beastie Sketches - CrawCrafts BeastiesDublin Football Beastie

However, much as I love the hands-on approach, I was having trouble keeping up! A hectic pre-Christmas season in 2017 had me scouting around for new drawing options… Preferably ones that wouldn’t involve quite as much controlled shading with coloured pencils.

Enter GIMP and Inkscape, two open-source computer graphics programs. I won’t pretend that the learning curve with these has been speedy – I still feel like I’m figuring out the angles a bit – but the one-click colouring is a definite plus. This is my first attempt:
First Digital Sketches! CrawCrafts BeastiesThen when I figured out that I could scan in my fabric stash and show people the actual prints I’d be using for their Beastie’s outfits, I couldn’t have been happier!
Family Frame Beasties - Sketches - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd although I can now type most of the text, I still like to throw the odd bit of my own hand-drawn lettering into the sketches too.
David and Tammie Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesHow about you? Will you be cracking out your pencils this weekend, or creating artwork on your computer? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments!

We’ll be back next week to see what Paddy and Plunkett have been up to – see you then!

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