The Monster Engine is one of those projects that make me love the Internet for its ability to expose amazing creative talent to a worldwide audience. Illustrator Dave DeVries started with a simple question: What would a child’s drawing look like if it were painted realistically? In his own words:
It began at the Jersey Shore in 1998, where my niece Jessica often filled my sketchbook with doodles. While I stared at them, I wondered if color, texture and shading could be applied for a 3D effect. As a painter, I made cartoons look three dimensional every day for the likes of Marvel and DC comics, so why couldn’t I apply those same techniques to a kid’s drawing? That was it… no research, no years of toil, just the curiosity of seeing Jessica’s drawings come to life.
The Monster Engine is the 48-page outcome from that curiosity, and it looks wonderful. He describes the process as follows:
I project a child’s drawing with an opaque projector, faithfully tracing each line. Applying a combination of logic and instinct, I then paint the image as realistically as I can.
Below are some of my favorite illustrations from the project. Be sure to check out the whole gallery.