South West Yugioh Champion 2013 Playmat

I’m pretty certain its the fist bump that does it, taking something slightly absurd and pushing it over the edge. I’m the one who designed it and even now I find it slightly disconcerting, even more so when it was fresh from having been initially sketched.
Still thats about what you want from something like this, a one of a kind prize has every right to also be something of a farce, attracting attention is one of its main duties.
We may as well begin at the beginning and while most of these posts start with the first traces of colour on the mat lets roll it back two stages further.
Just after the full scale sketch is done I start adding in any other elements digitally in this case the SWYC logo. Its also an opportunity to move things around, see what works, and change the scale of things. The flip horizontally command is of primary importance at this stage.
I also took this as an opportunity to make sure the logo was the same on both sides, it was actually pretty close before but I decided since I needed to change a few things around anyway I may as well nudge a few things slightly here and there.  Also missing this time are the spikes on the top, removed since otherwise they would have obscured the faces.
You will notice there are some major changes between here and the final image most come down to me realising that I wanted the design to be based on a pair of overlapping V shapes.
I wont bother covering the first few stages so moving ahead slightly I have reorientated and am much happier with the syringe and have decided on the style of the center circle, this time a nod to the spiral from the 2012 mat background, On the other hand I’m still not completely happy with the perspective on Lilly’s body and still have to come up with a place for Dark Magician’s staff.
I have been accused of, er, over inflating certain aspects of characters anatomy in the past and while this is something of a jest I would prefer not to draw to much attention to that area in this instance, this thing is silly enough as it is.
I’m not entirely certain why I suddenly went crazy and started on the black at this point, perhapse I had been looking at the mat to long. More likely I wanted to block the wings in and fill up more of the space.
I should probably point out that those are real people depicted on the mat, perhaps you know them, their face’s size on the mat are quite close to that of those on the One Piece, Muppet, and Batman mats. This isn’t a coincidence as I like the balance of size verses detail that this scale allows while working in my preferred media on these projects.
For some reason I decided to have the light coming from either side on this mat with the shadows in the center, since both photos that I was basing the faces on had the same lighting that did tend to make things slightly more tricky than it probably needed to be when I finally got around to finishing the faces off.
I had planned to do the background green as a callback to the first SWYC mat but aside from helping me figure out where to put the staff I wasn’t really that impressed with the results, it wasn’t so much the colour as the lack of anything going on. The black has also been softened quite a bit by this point, more because the other colours have been darkened than anything else so now it wasn’t so jarring.
I still have the faces to do but they can wait until last, not happy with the background it gets a pair of red circles with crosses in them and then finished off with a dark blue background featuring swirls that mirror the center spiral. The crosses are meant to reinforce the double V shape, or perhaps the circle with the cross in means they are X-men?
Or maybe they are hazard signs

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