I'm designing a t-shirt design for a conservation non-profit I work for part-time: SaveNature.org. Their annual fundraising event is coming up, and each year they put out a new t-shirt that features an insect and a punny phrase. This year it's "bee inspired". It seemed that there was a preference for sticking with the scientific illustration lay out (ie, pinned insect, wings & legs splayed, symmetrical) Given the last minute deadline, I went with that rather than to draft out possible bee-in-flight compositions. But, I did want this to have a more graphic edge, unlike my dry stippled mammal skull drawings.
I photographed bumblebee specimens, penciled out a draft, traced that on to bristol board (heavy paper) and inked it in with brush and ink. Brush has great personality. The width of line can be varied, and I believe that added an artsy touch that makes the bee feel hand created, a bit like comic drawings. Bumblebees are very fuzzy, so of course I put the brush to work on the fuzz. The black ink gives a deep plushness - Speedball Super Black India Ink is the best. The color was added in photoshop, and I used brown under the black of the thorax and abdomen to give the bee further volume. Have yet to draw out the venation on the wings.
When ever there's a free t-shirt commemorating an event, it's most likely white. These days, organizations are getting better at providing t-shirts in sizes other than L and XL. But in my life, I've accumulated too many over-sized free white t-shirts in my life, and so I dislike white t-shirts. I would love to have this printed on a green t-shirt. (Hmm yes, that green is a similar shade to my wedding dress.) We'll see if I can influence the powers that be.