Projects: Dear Friends as Simpsons Characters

When it comes to Christmas presents, nothing makes me happier than creating hand-hewn stuff that nobody really wants, but is touched to receive, anyway. Birthdays are a time for practical goods, but when the holiday season rolls around and I have a few days of unoccupied sloth to art my way through, you'd best watch out. This is especially bad since I really like to try my hand at things I've never done before, which usually leads to comical creations of the sort an earnest four-year-old might produce.

These are no exception.

For Christmas 2004, my plan was to draw my three favourite friend-type people as Simpsons characters. I dug up a bunch of pictures of them, so as to properly imitate their clothing and accessories, then found Simpsons images online to work from. (I have no artistic skill to speak of, so pre-existing figures were a must. I tried to make them appropriate, at least!) Sketches were done in pencil, which led to these ugly things:

I don't have the third sketch on this computer, so you'll just have to imagine. Oddly, it was the best of the three. Anyway, following that, I scanned the sketches and cleaned them up in Paint Shop Pro (yes, I am a non-Photoshop troglodyte), then added colour. It's been a long time since I did this, but I seem to recall it taking about four hours per image, from start to finish - I draw slowly, and like the 8-bit Halloween pictures, these were "inked" and shaded almost completely pixel-by-pixel. At least this time I had a mouse.

Dancing Jessica (based on an image of young Marge):

Stevie B. (based on Troy McClure in Planet of the Apes):

Mr. N. (based on Bart, and probably my favourite):

And this is why my friends hate me. ;)