The Gorillaz

a tribute to the "Gorillaz"

"Tribute to Jamie Hewlett and the Gorillaz" 2010, Ken Morrill, Jr.

Click the image above to make it larger.

A Tribute to Jamie Hewlett and the Gorillaz:

I have been inspired by Jamie Hewlett’s artwork since 11th grade when I first read “Tank Girl”.  He is the reason I focused on illustrative cartooning, and therefor, the reason I am working as a greeting card illustrator.  In case you ever read this blog:  Thank you Mr. Hewlett!  Your comic illustrations are the best I’ve ever seen.  I hope to be as great an illustrator as you one day (when I grow up… I’m only 32).

Also, if you haven’t heard the Gorillaz yet, get out from under your rock and visit your local record shop or iTunes.  They produce some mighty fine music ranging from reggae to trip-hop to punk.  Head to their website when you’re done here by clicking on the link at the end of this page.

How I did this:

I have always loved illustration mixed with real-life imagery (think Roger Rabbit).  I found an image of a junkyard and a few other objects on Google and used Photoshop to paste them together and blur them to the same degree.

I drew the Durango 95 and all of the Gorillaz characters separately because I ran out of large paper and I needed to use sheets I could fit on my scanner.  Each character was drawn separately on 8.5″x11″ paper so I could squeeze plenty of detail and line variation in.  Once scanned, I shrunk each character into position next to the Durango in Photoshop.  After they were placed in the image, I colored them using a range of tools (paint brush, burn, dodge, air brush, color fade, etc).  I also used custom patterns I’ve created in Photoshop to add very subtle textures.  I believe that I used about fifty layers to achieve the desired effects of space, texture, value, etc.

I am going to keep working on this image.  It isn’t finished yet.  I think I’ll add a city skyline in where the trees are and I need to add a few more drop shadows to ground objects.  And in case you are having difficulty deciding whether to purchase Photoshop or Illustrator, make a list of your needs.  If you will be changing the sizes of drawings and other images which you need to keep crisp and clear, get Illustrator.  I really wish that I had purchased that program rather than Photoshop.  Photoshop is good for editing digital images, but not the best at creating fully custom illustrations.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the Hewlett and Gorillaz tribute.

*I did not link to Hewlett’s website because some of his artwork is not appropriate for people of younger ages to view.  Please use discretion when looking for his work.*


8 thoughts on “The Gorillaz

  1. I am showing this to everyone I know. It is so cool. I can’t believe you made this in less than a day. Amazing

  2. GO Hepster! GO Hepster! It’s your birthday! Go Hepster! (be sure to read it with the proper sing-song!) Congrats!! WOO HOO!

  3. Thank you both. I think you’ll be able to say “I work with that guy” for a while Jody. Be sure to scour this blog for the stickers you would like. Each of you get one… unless no one else posts a comment. Then I will give you each 7.5 stickers (half of the allotted stickers to each).

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