When Julie and I attended the Monsters University charity screening back in April we were lucky enough to meet director, Dan Scanlon, view the film, and bid on exclusive artwork by many Pixarians. During the silent auction we were caught up in the bidding process for several pieces of artwork, but one that stuck out to Julie was a pencil drawing of young Mike Wazowski by Pixarian, Dice Tsutsumi. We were lucky enough to win an amazing piece by Robert Kondo but were outbid on the Tsutsumi piece.
I always knew I wanted to create a young Mike Wazowski piece of my own based on Dice’s work, but I realized that I had a very special reason to do so now. Julie and I are expecting a baby boy in late February and I wanted to create this to use as a custom drawing for our baby shower invitation and I thought, what would be a better image to use than young Mike Wazowski!
When I started I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do a pencil sketch or if I wanted to do a color version, so I just went where my inspiration took me. I opened up Sketchbook Pro and dove in by starting a quick red pencil sketch. Following the rough sketch, I used a hard tip felt pen with 100% opacity to fill in Mike’s signature ooze green color. I then used the airbrush tool to shade and layer varying green and yellow tones to shape his body and even threw in his subtle cheek and belly spots.
Moving on to his eye, I knew I had to take my time and get that great glossy Pixar eye look. I created three layers and started with the base aqua color for his eye, shading the circle from top to bottom. I then used the chisel tip pen tool and tapped my pen with one dab of varying color at a time (while varying the slant around the circle) to create the depth. To finish off the iris I took a yellow and orange colored pencil and created subtle lines to create an even more realistic look. Finishing off his eye, I created a circular pupil and then added the two white catchlights (with a slight purple color cast around the edges).
When I was wrapping up the drawing I went back through and added a slight ivory tint to the white of his eye and used varying pencil lines to accent the drawing overall. The final touch was to ground Mike by having him stand on a patch of grass.
The entire time I was drawing this, I couldn’t help but realize how much I was inspired by the artwork that I saw in the Art of Monsters University book. I realized how much I took away from reading and analyzing the pages and really tried to do Mike justice. Let me know what you think and if you’ve done any fun Pixar artwork recently – you can even post images of your artwork in the Fan Art section of the Pixar Post Forum if you’d like.
First of all, congratulations to you both! TJ, yours is a true splitting image of the original, while still being in your unique style. Props to that. Here's hoping your kid can pass on the fandom.
Thanks a million Joe, we really appreciate it! I think we'll have another writer on our staff in no time after he comes around! Ha!
Congratulations you two! That is really exciting news and I'm sure the baby shower invitation is going to turn out adorable.
Congratulations to both of you! I come from a long line of artists, so I have no doubt he will inheret your artistic abilities.I own a copy of The Art of Monsters University, and I can definitely see the resemblance to many of the Mikes throughout the book. I think you did a great job with the lighting and shading, and those colors really pop! Also, love his smile. Keep up the good work!
Wow, thank you so very much!!
Thanks so much!! Yeah, I love those \”art of\” books and I hope that our little dude loves them just as much – not that he has a choice in the matter! 😉
Congratulations TJ and Julie! I have recently become a father myself and I can tell you from experience that you're in for the most memorable years of your life. As much as we love Pixar, you haven't experienced love until you look into your little guy's eyes and see nothing but sheer innocence. With that said, I have to say you really captured that innocence in your painting of Mike. That big ol eye has a nice subtlety to it that just says, \”How do I become a scarer?\”. IMO those are the little qualities that really make a character speak to an audience so I applaud you for capturing that in your piece. Again, congrats you two and welcome to parenthood 🙂 -Bryan (from Linked In)
Thank you so much Bryan! What a great comment! Thanks for noting the elements of my rendition of young Mike – the innocence is what you have to capture in young Mike so I'm glad that came across!As far as becoming parents, yeah, we can't wait for those quiet moments to really connect with him.Thanks again!
Thanks a million Craig!! 🙂
Congratulations, Julie and T.J.! I'm so excited for you and your little monster addition to your family. You'll be the best parents. Also, you Mike art is absolutely to die for.
Thanks Morgan! We're super excited as well and thanks for the kind words on the Mike drawing too! 🙂
That's wonderful…both the news and the art! Congratulations! 😀
Thank you on both accounts, Joe!! We really appreciate it! 🙂
Awesome drawing and my congrats is a little late, but congrats none the less. Children really change your life. My daughter is almost 7 and I enjoy this stuff more now than I have ever have. She is at such a fun age. Plus she gave me an excuse to buy the PNK doll set 😉
🙂 Thanks so much for the congrats, Randy! As you know, it's never too late to give congrats in regards to our children – we'll always take it!