Powerpuff Girls

During my time out at San Diego, one of my few fanboy moments was meeting Powerpuff Girls/Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends creator Craig McCracken. Although he was walking the con floor when I ran into him, Craig was kind enough to take a few minutes to look through my portfolio and offer me some advice. Utter coolness.

So in honor of that moment and Craig's great contributions to the animation world, I got the itch to draw a Powerpuff Girls pinup...featuring Mojo Jojo (cause he's so awesome...and a monkey...and he wears a cape).

I wanted the pinup to feature Mojo Jojo standing in true super evil monkey genius fashion in his lab, located high above the city of Townsville. With the con season at full blast, I didn't get a chance to sketch out a thumbnail for the pinup until Wizard Chicago. But here's what I came up with while sitting in Artist Alley:

The robot was a happy accident but I realized as I was drawing it that the Powerpuff Girls were not in the pinup. The drawing would have worked without the girls but I really wanted to draw the Powerpuff Girls AND Mojo Jojo. So I had to lose the robot and come up with something better. My second thumbnail included a monitor in the background where Mojo Jojo would be watching the girls. Here's that thumbnail:

With a solid sketch to work from, I drew the characters separately. First Mojo Jojo:
Then the PowerPuff Girls:
Although Mojo was not 100% completed on the page, I used a few digital shortcuts to finish him. The girls were a lot harder to draw than I expected. They may look simple, but they each have a specific attitude and feel that has to be drawn correctly. If not, they end up looking "wrong." If you've ever seen the cartoon, you know how they should look. So as an artist, you have to take that into account and make them "feel" like the characters in the show. That comes across in their poses, their expressions, and their positioning in relation to each other. But I was happy with all the characters and once they were scanned into Photoshop, it was onto the next stage.

I wanted to play with a one-color background so I choose the color red to really push the evil genius tone. Nothing too sinister though. Plus, considering Mojo Jojo's colors, he would really stand out. And with his headquarters/observatory being located high above the city of Townsville, I was planning on adding a blue-toned city in the background. Again, blue would contrast really well against the red and the character colors. After a quick Google search for color references on the girls and Mojo, I cleaned up the characters, gave them a nice black border (to stand out against the background), and dropped them into the pinup.

The big change was getting rid of the monitor and placing the girls right outside of the observatory's windows. Once I placed them in that location, it added a little humor to the piece. Good 'ole Mojo is standing there, striking a super villain pose, while the Powerpuff Girls stand outside his headquarters, ready to kick some simian ass.

After four or so hours of Photoshop magic, here's the final result:

Overall, it turned out OK. I definitely want to go back and play around with the evil robot idea so don't be surprised if that shows up on the blog next time I get some free time. Whenever that is.

As always, thanks for looking,



Bigseek said...

Damn. Awesome work Bernie.

Element X said...

Thanks Brian. Longbox of Love forever!