In early November 2015, Cyclades Microbrewery at Tinos island contacted me to continue our collaboration in the development of a special and unique box design. After two successful project for the company (Seven Beaufort and All Day), the company requested I deliver an illustration design for the flag ship beer, Nissos Pilsner. The idea was taken from their liking of my new venture in caricature illustration and the older series of Animal Behaviour illustrations. The aim was to make their existing package design a more flexible and satisfying product to intice customers to buy 10 packs instead of single beers.
The brief was to design a full illustration to cover the entire box, that would represent the wildlife of Tinos island. This was to take the form of a set of animals listed by the client to be presented as if they were in a party environment. The design had to include two bottle representations at actual size (on either side) and the necessary text to aid in the package distinctive selling point. The animals were to be rendered in the style liked by the client of my new digital painting format. This was also a key factor in the timescale.
File size: 838.9Mbs/2.07Gbs (open)
Layers: 173 uncompressed
Dimensions: 17456px x 5000px @ 300dpi
Hours (Pencil): 49hrs
Digital rendering: 169hrs
The Final Box
the rendered new version
an animated gif of the rendering
As you can see in this animated sequence, many parts were changed, but in general the design was as planned. I tend to move from left to right with the animlas to create a flow. And it was not until half way through that the design of the island details was decided. Overall, the whole thing went smooth and the end result was how I planned.
the beasts of Tinos
The turtle was one of the longest ones to complete with the render mainly as there was so much subtle colour changes and the gaps between the shell and arm sections. It was designed and planned that it acted like a table carrying a few beers on it’s back. The beer bottles were also hand rendered from the large bottles appearing on the side, and slight changes to the perspective were rendered in live.
The seal was the quickest to render out, as it was mainly one neutral colour. I did sample some other seals with patterns, but due to the tight schedule decided to go with the plain colour. A slight modification was made to the head after the first rough sketch was made, to make the creature look less cartoon like.
The Rabbit and the Cat
Even though many of the animals are combined. This is the only one that faced the issue of seeing the animals separate. Again due to the timescale I didn’t render the arms as full parts and only painted what is visible. So these two have to be displayed together. The cat was based on a cat that Maya and Alexandros suggested, which is the family pet, and the hare image found on the web servedd well with the setting sun light effects.
I didn’t realise when I reached the octopus how difficult it was going to be to render it. Octupuses not only have the ability to change colours, but also ithey have this very subtle mottling affect across their skin. Apart from that, when designing the thing, I had to make an interest for each of the tentacles. You may also notice that there are only seven visible, but play on the idea the last one is in the water behind the bottle.
The mule was one of the more fun creatures to paint. I had already done a mule, but more cartoon like, and used that as a basis for the design. The head was changed later to remove that over exaggeration. To make full the idea of island life, a set of beer crates were added to the sides of the animal, and logos and beer bottles applied.
You will also notice that when I skecth out the render candidates for the animals I avoid doing the hair. This is done more spontaneously and direct.
The lizard was asked to be added late on in the project to add more creatures. And as the time scale was placed a point where i was ready to render, I simply manipulated a real photo into a more dynamic sketch, but not doing too much more to caricaturise the animal. I gave more of a curve to the spine.
This started out in the project as an owl. I tried and tried to get an owl face to work in the space I was given, but at the end of the day, the whole look was too elongated. Luckily, as the list of usable animals was trimmed some time in the project I found that there was an option for a hawk. So, I redrew the head and rendered the image out as a hawk. This also involved some extension to the wing.
This was a simple backstage character, but as I drew it on the back of the dockey and started to render. I realised that the characteristics of a seagul (the white next to grey plummage) was gone as we see the bird from the front. Never the less I continued and it still plays an important part in the composition.
The frog character was the one that was changed the most. There were no really good reference imags of the frog, so most of the image was generated by draw and redraw. I started it off leaping from the rear legs, but later decided that this approach fitted the space and composition better. The feet under soles were never sourced as an image, so this was all constructed from guessing.
The dove was another late addition and was again, like the lizard redered from a photo, with some changes to the proportions. The only additions you will see are the adding of a smile. The only change made during rendering was the swapping of the feet, which better suited the gripping of the octopus arm.
The dolphin had to be an Aegean dolphin, which has special side markings, so apart from this one requirement I thought it good to ahve it rising from the water. A bottle was placed on the nose to give it a party feel as well. The only changes made was pre-render when I realised that the two flippers were too big and too far down.
insight into the method
You will notice that the rabbit and cat arms are not yet complete, as I was deciding whether to have them together or apart.
The third stage was taking each of the animals, and pencil rendering them in a clean and final form. Many of them were already to go from the first stage. Only the owl was replaced with a hawk. The only other change was a slight taming of the seal face and the arms of the rabbit and cat are now placed.
1 creative person, slightly matured
2 tablespoons aptitude
1 piece of aesthetic flavouring
6lbs hard work and sweat
4 ideas more than most
salt of the earth to taste
Take a creative person and stir in some aptitude, thoroughly from the start. In time, mix in the aesthetic flavouring with the most appropriate tool at hand, and then, fold into the mix as much of the hard work and sweat that the mix can take. Sprinkle in the ideas; the more the better. And finally, as all is cooking, a pinch of ‘salt of the earth’ to give it the necessary character. Leave to cook over time and serve when required. Tasty treat in a tasteless world.