Your Cart is Empty

Making Penguin Poop

December 31, 2017

This year has been exceptionally busy in areas of my practice outside of illustration, but I was able to find some time to squeeze in some fun illustration work.


For sketching and value painting, I've been using my iPad, Apple Pencil, and the Procreate App. This setup allows me to generate ideas quickly at a zoomed out view while giving me the flexibility to zoom in and refine worthy compositions into final sketches. For my pooping penguin I knew I wanted a low-angle shot to make the toilet throne-like while bringing emphasis to the bird sitting atop. I also knew the contrast between the round shape of the penguin and tall vertical shape of the toilet would provide a strong composition.

Penguin Poop Sketch

Value Painting

With a sketch in place for reference, I moved onto painting in values; making lighting choices, refining forms, and adding detail. Working in black and white at this stage allowed me to focus entirely on value structure. I find that if a piece works in black and white, you can't miss when moving into color.

I used a single custom brush in a variety of widths to build the piece up from background to foreground, from dark to light. I used strokes economically to define the largest forms first while being careful not to overwork the painting. Much like traditional mediums, lost and found edges in digital painting are extremely powerful when defining forms and are often lost when a painting is over rendered.


With the value painting finely tuned, I brought the file from Procreate into Adobe Photoshop to apply color. Separating value from color in my process allows me to explore a variety of moods when making color decisions. Practically, it gives me a way to respond to art direction changes quickly.

For this piece, I used a warm light source to offset the coolness of the bathroom environment which also introduced a pleasing dimension of complexity to the complimentary color palette.

Penguin Poop Final


Penguin Poop Details

Join our mailing list.