One Piece Playmat

Welcome to 2013 also know as that point in time where I drew quite a lot of people standing in small randomly shaped boxes. Today we look at where all that started.
Sometimes people just know what they want and in this instance it was this image exactly, I cant take any credit for the image this mat is based on so in this instance its more about trying to replicate the original under the constraints of the materials I work in and the shape of the playmat.
That didn’t stop me suggesting alternatives, sketching it out also showed me that the original image was going to need some tweaking to stop it looking stretched out of shape. At this stage its quite obvious some of the faces are really not right but I’m more interested in trying different layouts at the moment.
The transform tool can be a dangerous thing, and if we had gone with this layout the characters would have needed another redraw. I do like the style though so you can be quite sure there will be a mat that features something like it at some point in the near future.
In the end I didn’t even try to match the digital cell shaded look of the original and went for something with a bit more texture. Its slightly amusing really a long time ago I used to have this idea that at some point I wanted to create an image so flat it was only one atom thick, but the more i learn and practice the more I find working with light and shadow creates better results than simple solid blocks of colour. A bit like finding out Lichtenstein’s graphic and precise dot drawings you see in books are actually massive wall spanning pieces and the dots are anything but uniform.
Getting the luminosity in the background was probably one of the trickiest things on this project and used up quite a bit of the substance that can remove the colour from the mat, I really need to find a cheeper alternative on that front especially since the darker the colour your trying to remove the more remover you require.
Don’t even get me started on what happens if you let it run, but more on colour flow on playmats another time.
This style has proven quite popular and I have done a number of mats based on it recently which I will discuss more in coming weeks. Until then its worth remembering sometimes you find good ideas in one piece
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