May 2, 2022

Vector cartoon Mr. Bean


This time a vector cartoon of Mr. Bean, something different from the realistic vector portraits I usually draw. I didn't have to deviate very far from the reality, since his face in real life is already somewhat cartoonish (no offence). Created in the magnificent Affinity Designer - 100% vector, zero pixels. I first drew this image about 2 years ago and recently revisited the image to make some changes. It is what artists often do: walk away from a project to make some changes later, in this case two years, which allowed me to see details that I missed when drawing the initial image.

Rendered view

I refined, tweaked and recoloured a number of areas in the face, in order to add a certain degree of realism to the portrait, while trying not to throw the cartoonish feel out the window. Affinity Designer allows to blur the edges of a curve (object), while gradient colours and transparency are added to it. The programs clipping function allows to draw objects that have various levels of blurriness around their edges, which adds to the realistic atmosphere of a drawing, i.e. not having areas with unrealistic hard edges. I wrote a tutorial on this trick in an other blog post.

Vector outline view

Such a cartoon of a well known person would be perfect to use in a T-shirt design, which of course brings the risk of copyright infringement. I have to see how to deal with this. The circular text around the Bean's is borrowed from one of the quotes of his creator, Rowan Atkinson, who is a fastidious bachelor, that said a thing or two about living alone, that touched up on the heart of this type of life.

Concept T-shirt design, based on one of his quotes

I made a small collage of various cartoons I drew over time and placed it on my website, that contains many variations in style of my artwork. The cartoons below each are drawn in a different style using different techniques.

Part of a cartoon compilation on my website,

I am trying to become familiar with Blender, which is quite a challenge, since its UI is like no other 3D program I have used before. But I guess I have to endure the headaches and frustrations, while attempting to adjust my way of thinking to that of Blender's developer department employees. The program is free, which better relates to the non-existing contents of my bank account.

Psychedelic Bean rendered in virtual 3D frame

Fiddling about wildly with the curve function - placing a heap of nodes on the curve and dragging them to unusual levels, which does surprising things with the colours of an image and sometimes leads to results that are actually worth looking at. The portrait was clipped inside crossing and expanded strokes that I made into wavy lines with the Node tool and then transformed them into curves that can be used to clip other vector objects or pixel images. I wrote a blog entry before on how to do this.