New Illustrator and Artist Commission: American Wildlife Illustrations

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

In today’s blog post I want to write about my last illustrator and artist commission to draw wild animals of North America. I was hired by Buffalo and Company, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA to create illustrations for their new American wildlife t-shirt series label. The company specializes in a kind of a patriotic clothes design for hats, shirts, t-shirts, polo shirts etc. So they needed cool wildlife drawings to create classy t-shirts with the wild west feel. They wanted me to draw fish (a bass and a rainbow trout), birds (mallards (wild ducks)) and big animals (a bison and an elk). In this post I will show you the final illustrations as well as a few videos I created specially to show you the process of drawing wild animals beginning from a pencil sketch to the complicated illustrations which have been made using the cross-hatching drawing technique. In the videos I tried to indicate the main milestones of the cross-hatching drawing process which might be interesting for those who want to know more how to draw cross-hatching.

I realize that you may think why a Ukrainian artist should draw north American national wildlife. Well, there are at least three reasons why I was chosen for this commission. The first reason is that the guys from Buffalo and Company seem to love my cross-hatching style after I had drawn them an illustration for their apparel catalog a few months ago. You can see the illustration below. It shows bisons grazing on a wheat field on the background of the mountains.

American wildlife, buffalo, bison, field, illustration, drawing by Igor Lukyanov (cross-hatching)

When I was drawing this illustration I was wondering whether the clients would love this cross-hatching style. And they did, and, furthermore, they got back to me with this new wildlife t-shirts project. The other reason is that the animals I have drawn are not something from the other planet for me as similar animals live in Ukraine too. We have bass, trout, mallards, deer (which are similar to elks), and even European bisons (we call them “zoobr”) also known as aurochs (scientifically Bison bonasus). So I know that some of these beautiful animals are really rare and every country can be proud of having such wonderful representatives of fauna on its territory since healthy and rich nature is a treasure of all nations. And the third reason why I was hired to implement this illustration project is my competitive prices for illustrations as for the time being I am looking for extending my independent, freelance illustrator’s portfolio and I am rather flexible about price issues.

But let’s go to the main topic of the post. I want to show the wildlife illustrations I have created and which, I believe, will help to make cool and classy wildlife t-shirts. The illustrations are accompanied with videos showing the drawing process. I guess that the drawing videos will make this post more interesting for artists and people who love pen and pencil drawing.

Bison and Elk Illustrations and Drawing Videos

Bison (American buffalo) illustration, drawing by Igor Lukyanov (cross-hatching)

Elk illustration, drawing by Igor Lukyanov (cross-hatching)

Mallards (Wild Ducks) Illustrations and Drawing Videos

Mallards (wild ducks) illustration, drawing by Igor Lukyanov (cross-hatching)

wild ducks drawing stages by Igor Lukyanov (cross-hatching)

Fish (Bass and Trout) Illustrations and Drawing Video

Fish (bass) illustration, drawing by Igor Lukyanov (cross-hatching)

Fish (rainbow trout) illustration by Igor Lukyanov (cross-hatching)

I also created some cool banners for placing on t-shirts. I made a few banner options to choose from or mix and match on a t-shirt somehow. These banners are designed to create that old wild west feel. Here are how the banners look.

Bison for t-shirt banner by Igor Lukyanov

Banners for wildlife t-shirts by illustrator and artist Igor Lukyanov

Banners for wildlife t-shirts by illustrator and artist Igor Lukyanov

bison banner

I think the guys from Buffalo and Company will take care of the further processing of the banners and the illustrations to perfectly fit them to the company’s t-shirts look and feel. I know that Buffalo and Company has developed its own clothes philosophy which they try to reflect in the apparel they design. This clothing is for those who honor their country, and I wish that every patriot of the USA, who, no doubt, honors America, would want to buy a t-shirt with my American wildlife drawings on it. I wish Buffalo and Company good luck in selling clothes and thanks for hiring me.

Updated on February 27, 2010. I am glad to announce that the first wildlife organic t-shirts with the buffalo drawing have been printed and are available in the Buffalo and Company on-line store.

American buffalo (bison) wildlife t-shirt

American buffalo (bison) wildlife t-shirt

The release of other wildlife t-shirts is planned for the spring.

P.S. You can also see my other animals drawings and illustrations here:
My other wildlife illustrations for Buffalo and Co.
Bison drawing
Panda bears drawings and illustrations
Hunting and fishing drawings
Animals drawings and illustrations
Man and his dog portrait




Black Incense February 9, 2010 at 4:58 AM  

Hi Igor!!!

I have been reading your posts and I was very impressed with your work for Buffalo and Co. I want to just give you praise and words of encouragement.
And I want to say something to your heart that I hope will make you happy.

I really think you captured something very important in that commission. Yes, I know you work for hte money but you did something important even if you don't realize it.
In America today, where I live, many people have now become very complacent, very "lazy" about their country. They have lost much hope in all the terrible politicians of the last 30 years. They are TIRED of America, tired of their own country, bored with themselves, and sad about where they stand in the world. They know that every country in the world has people who hate them and want to kill them. This makes Americans very depressed about their lives, about their own history, (they are always having to APOLOGIZE for something in their past which they cannot help and cannot change.) They are, as a nation, a very depressed people. Americans take and use more anti-depressant medication than any other country in the world.

I was born in the USA but if you have read my blog, you know that I never lived here as a child. I only came to America when I was an adult, and even then, I left very soon after that, and spent several years in Europe and the Caribbean. I never "felt" like an American, even though my parents were American, and I was born here. My father worked for CIA and I was raised outside the USA in other countries and learned those cultures also which became part of me. When I came to US to live, finally when I was 23, it was very hard for me. I was an "outsider" to them, and I still do not "fit in" even after 20 years. But my experience allows me to see my people in a very loving way, and in a very tender way. They are a fierce and defiant people, very rebellious and very independent. They will never stand for someone telling them what to do, or how to do it. At the same time, they are immensely kind, and very loving people. They truly want to do the right thing, even if they are often misled by their politicians.

The animals of the American west (the eagle, the bison, the buffalo the hawk and so many of these others) became symbols of great strength for the American culture. And after seeing your drawings and your art work of them, I am amazed that you captured the "spirit" of each one so well. Each of these animals is also very much loved by the Native Americans, the Indians, and you have captured their "spirits" in such a way that I doubt any Native American would guess you are from Ukraine. If they saw your work, they would imagine you to be "Native American" like them. :)

So I am sorry for taking so much o fyour time. But I had to tell you, as an American born person, who loves the country that still sees her as "outsider" that your artwork brought tears to my eyes, and joy to my heart. I am ordering a shirt from Buffalo and Co. But I am sad because you are not around to sign it! :)

Very best wishes to you --- all of God's peace to you, all of the blessings of Theotokos upon you and your family,
Your friend,
ps: I have been very busy studying impressionism portraiture at the Nevada Museum of Art. I hope you will stop by and comment on my progress. I need all the critique and helpful advice I can get. :)

aneta June 5, 2011 at 4:45 AM  

that's really amazing , i'm impressed as well ...

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