The Prize Portrait From Our Halloween Illustration Contest

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Yesterday we chose our Halloween Illustration Contest winner and locked Gizmodo's contributing artist Sam Spratt in a creepy basement with instructions to draw a freaky portrait. Here's the result.

The folks in the drawing are Brandon and his son Logan. They won the illustration contest with this Facebook comment:


And in case you were curious as to what was going on through Spratt's mind as he drew the scary pair, he shared his thoughts:

To me, the greatest thing about the zombie genre is the campy nature that comes with it. When I found out I would be doing a father/son combo portrait I immediately thought of the wealth of cheesy stock photos out there of a father with his son on his shoulders with dentist ad-grade smiles. What better starting point to jump off of than a giant cliche?


Sketching out the pose from stock imagery references and integrating their faces was simple enough, it got tricky when trying to craft a semi-believable lighting scheme across the painting. The photo of the son had different lighting than that of the father which had drastically different lighting than the stock photography out there. As a result, it was important to spend a lot of time building up the grey-scale lighting before I jumped to color; really nailing down the highlights and shadows first and easing my way into the mid tones. I got to a point in the coloring process that it felt mostly complete, stepped away for a few minutes and realized it could really use some finer details. I dropped in some bulbous growths like the ones on the Left 4 Dead Boomer, some saliva pouring out of the child's mouth over the glasses, various sharp highlights, the text on the shirt, and called it a day. Zombificationalizing complete.


Pre-Zombification refererences:

Illustration by Sam Spratt. Check out Sam's newly redesigned portfolio website and become a fan of his Facebook Artist's Page.