How To Draw: Big Punisher Meets King Kong

Illustrator Chris B. Murray has had clients asking him for his precise and stylish pop-culture illustrations ever since he was a fine art student in Rochester, NY. He has been a full-time freelancer since 2011, with clients including Marvel, The New Yorker, and the New York Times. His Behance page is full of his latest works, as well as works in progress, which inspired us to ask him for some tips.

This drawing, Capital Punishment, is from his massively successful Reillustrated Classics series (wherein, you guessed it, classic albums were reinterpreted), and he took us through it step by step.
big punisher

Careful With References

All the initial stages are freehanded, either with pencil or ink. I definitely gather reference material, but I don’t think it’s wise to stick to the reference 100%. So I like to just have it there so I can go back and forth if need be, so I don’t copy the image from the picture.

Confidence Is Only Acquired One Way

I think that confidence just comes from drawing, and I think it’s so important to draw every day if you can. Once you understand the human body and how things work then you don’t need to use a reference as much as, say, a kid just starting out in school and trying to learn how to draw right. That’s the most important thing: to learn how to draw. That’s my number-one.

Experience Is The Best Education

You really learn everything once you’re on your own and you’re out of school.

Toughen Up

The best advice is just to work hard and be determined and develop tough skin—You definitely need tough skin in our world.

big punisher

Clean It Up

The cleaner the lines, the easier it is to color digitally. I just think it looks better that way.

Lay Down Basic Colors First

It might not seem to be a very simple process, but it is. I’m laying down the darks and then on top of that the highlights, and then textures here and there for different effects.

Take A Break

I try to look at the piece with a fresh eye each day, so I can go back in to certain areas and tweak certain parts.

Use Your Time Wisely

Originally I had a thought of Big Pun plopped down in the center of Manhattan, knocking down buildings, people running for their lives. But I think I was pushed for time, so this was much more straightforward, easier image to execute.

big punisher

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