This is a t-shirt design commissioned by Champs Diner in Brooklyn. (They have an amazing menu of vegan food at their main location as well as at their Screamers and Hartbreakers restaurants). Their mascot is a grim reaper with pancakes, and that was my only real guideline for this piece. (Oh, and they needed to be funfetti pancakes.) Aside from that, I was free to cut loose however I wanted with the design, which was a lot of fun.
This was one of the first pieces I started on after I began drawing seriously again, and as with my Cyber Demon, I really wanted to push myself to create a striking silhouette for the image, especially since there wouldn’t be any real background behind the reaper.
Having the cloak surround the pancakes was a way to push the contrast of light and dark spaces, and in the process, highlight the pancakes so they don’t become visually overwhelmed by the reaper.
This design was also an opportunity to play with a small bit of surrealism. Doing surrealist art might be my favorite approach to drawing, though I haven’t explored it after my long hiatus away from drawing. I think I’m waiting until I shake off all the rust and have a better feel for how I want my new style to look before I go for anything ambitious. But in the meantime, the floating figure and the bats flying away from the cloak in this piece was fun way to loosen up a bit and break away from fully grounded imagery.
Also, I was still feeling inspired by reconnecting my art with ’80s true metal (which happened on the Underground drawing), so I wanted to continue giving the art a heavy metal vibe. The final text for this image also uses a classic heavy metal font, so the finished image (hopefully) has the feel of an old school metal album.
Related: Death by Pancakes (Ink)