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Sweet Emotion: More Bedbugs ABCs

Work on these Bedbugs ABCs mini-books is going well. I colored a few more to show here. Up 'til this project, I've always drawn the 'bugs by hand, scanning and coloring digitally. For this series, even though I sometimes do tiny roughs with a pen to serve as a guide, I'm drawing directly in Illustrator. The Bedbugs are so clean, simple and graphic, it's easy and fast to draw them digitally. For certain elements, the brush tool is working great. I've always been worried I'd lose a certain expressiveness with this approach, but I may draw these guys this way from now on.

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As my pal, Peter Krause has observed, the Bedbugs are "pure expression." They're malleable little amoeba-like smiley faces, but aren't limited to just smiling. Changing their body shape creates unlimited opportunities to convey emotion, and their little "feelers" don't hurt, either. What fun I'm having!

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