Universal: Avengers Assemble

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

Universal Studios Doctor Strange Inspiration Board

Reference Photos & Selection

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 Line Work

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.

Universal Studios Doctor Strange Illustration Outline View

Color & Gradients

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

Universal Studios Captain America Illustration

Captain America Illustration

Universal Studios Black Panther Illustration

Black Panther Illustration

Universal Studios Iron Man Illustration

Iron Man Illustration

Captain America with Shield Illustration

Captain America w/ Shield Illustration

Iron Man Arc Reactor Illustration

Iron Man Arc Reactor Illustration

Spider-Man Swinging Illustration

Spider-Man Full (w/ Background) Illustration

Universal Studios Deadpool Illustration

Deadpool Illustration

Universal Studios Star-Lord Illustration

Star-Lord Illustration

Universal Studios Spider-Man Illustration

Spider-Man Illustration

Universal Studios Spider-Man Full Illustration

Spider-Man (Full) Illustration

Universal Studios Doctor Strange Illustration

Doctor Strange Illustration

Universal Studios Captain America Shield Logo Illustration

Captain America Shield Logo Illustration

Universal Studios Doctor Strange Illustration Wall Art


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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Gold Sheep is a creative studio based in Southern California specializing in brand design, digital illustration, and custom letterforms that tell stories, grow fandoms, and celebrate music, mystery, and the magic of pop culture.