When I saw so many children and adults alike wearing Steven Universe cosplay and tshirts, I had to find out what this show was about. The compassion and fun that this show exudes is pretty infectious and I can't get enough, so much so that I had to create an illustration celebrating him. Whats great is he's not the only one worth focusing on. The supporting cast is one of the best in the the history of pop culture. Having loved ones around him, as well as people who appreciate and respect him for who he is is very refreshing and heart warming. All of that happens and there's still room for action, adventure and surprisingly enough, romance.
When I showcased this at New York Comic Con, it received as great a response as my Dr. Luigi piece. Both pieces are quite involved and have a lot of reference going into the piece. With the Dr. Luigi Illo, I made sure to have a mixture of the most current Mario game backgrounds referenced for where the characters would be. One thing I enjoy about drawing backgrounds is making the viewer feel as though they can walk around and be a part of the environment. I did the same here. I wanted you to feel as though you could be with Steven and his friends, enjoying the last barbecue of the Summer. The friends that Steven makes outside of his normal circle remind me of Scooby Doo and the gang, so I wanted to make them be as loose as possible.
Doing the research, reading about each character and their motivations helped to bring a bit more life to the piece as well. Below, you can see my process, from drawing area piece by piece. I literally drew the foreground, middle ground and background on separate pages in my sketchbook as I traveled to different conventions in order to keep working on new illustrations while I finish my book. I wish I did it all on one page together, but the inked version of this image is done one a page with the printed blueline of all of the art collected together, so there is some original art of everything pieced together.
I hope you enjoy the beach party I created. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to talk more about this piece=]