Eagle Knit - Such a mis-fit.

Sometimes you can tell when an artist is working outside of their wheelhouse. Almost all of them spent a lot of time working on the human form. In this ad for Eagle Knit, it looks like he/she was thrown a curve ball when the client asked for a reindeer, possibly at the last minute.
At least i think it's a reindeer. Just like in the Rankin-Bass christmas special, he could be mistaken for a dog. But, since this ad is from the November issue of The Saturday Evening Post, let's assume it's a reindeer. The girl is painted with practiced skill, almost like the artist has done faces like it a hundred times. The horrible cartoon  reindeer looks like it was drawn on the cover of a spiral notebook by a bored little girl... maybe the girl in the ad? Maybe the client originally asked for a dog and changed it to a reindeer at the last second, forcing the artist to trace this thing out of a coloring book?

Also, her wrist is bent at an awkward angle: a few degrees more than a human wrist can usually bend. Maybe she had some bad luck petting the rhinoceros before she had a go at the reindeer? I'll bet the trouble was trying to fit both characters in the frame while still arranging her arm at a plausible angle to be petting the reindeer/antelope.

Then there's her hand. It looks like she's holding something flat... like the reindeer is made of cardboard. Hands can be hard.

Let's try to smooth things out. Fixing the reindeer's googly eye is obligatory. The reindeer should look like it's from the same universe as the girl. So, let's try a more realistic eye. And lets pretend the reindeer has bones. So, we'll draw the jaw with some more structure, and close the gaping mouth.

Sketch #1 Well, that's a step. I tried to form the girl's hand into a shape like she's cupping the reindeer's head on one side. Still a little awkward, but at least her wrist isn't broken. And I still left the reindeer's eye kind of cartoony. With most animals, you basically never see the white part (the sclera) of the eye.

Sketch #2 Girl's hand is doing more of a scrathing "kitchy coo" action. Reindeer has the standard clueless expression that real animals always have. Realistic, but it looks like a zombie. Screw this reindeer.

Sketch #3 In my neighborhood, everyone went to the  lobster petting zoo during the holidays anyway. Much better. Done!


Post a Comment