Illustrate some of our favorite superheroes? Yes, please! Our lead designer and illustrator, Nathan Owens, was brought on to illustrate various character concepts for product placement throughout Universal Studios theme parks. While he set out to capture each character in his signature metallic linework Trophy Head style, he also got to play around with full body compositions for the first time, creating a collection that spans the extended Marvel Comics Universe.
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The Process Case Study: Doctor Strange
When working on illustration for theme parks, there are definite boundaries established. We were sent various reference images to work with. For this set of Marvel heroes, Nathan got to not just work in his signature Trophy Head style, but explore full scenes. For his Doctor Strange piece, he decided to use a meditation piece from the film combined with an enlarged Eye of Agamotto for a surrealistic composition.
The Strange piece is a whole lotta lines, and Nathan began in Illustrator with the dominant lines, using his custom line brush.
This piece was our first time experimenting with secondary lines to create a fabric effect.
Additional experimentation was done on the cloak using a clipping mask to create a lit-from-within effect to symbolize Strange’s power. That- and it just looks pretty cool.
Usually Nathan will use the eyedropper tool to keep the colors and gradients of each character on brand, but he played a bit with his Doctor Strange piece, going for an Astral Plane, acid trip vibe. Color was applied to each line (don’t ask how long it took) and the angles were adjusted to create a tunneling, dimensional effect. Very timey-wimey.
Avengers Unite: The Collection
Captain America Illustration
Black Panther Illustration
Iron Man Illustration
Spider-Man (Full) Illustration
Doctor Strange Illustration
Captain America Shield Logo Illustration
At the end of the day, we don’t know if our designs ever made it into Universal Studios. COVID had other plans for theme parks. But we had a blast reimagining our favorite superheroes and it gives us major bragging rights if we ever make it to ComicCon, and we got a pretty dope art piece for our office.
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