Sweaty Bob – the bandit caterpillar

Picture consequences and other random word/picture games are great when you feel stuck and need to come up with new ideas quickly. Personally, I really like the illogical and random process of idea generation – it is fun. Apparently, there is even a special name for it – aleatoricism. And that is exactly what we did when my friend came to visit me all the way from Australia, and we sat down after dinner to play a drawing game.

Each of us had to come up with a word. The words were then revealed, creating a random illogical phrase. We would then do a very quick sketch combining the three words together (it was three of us playing). For one round, the combination pistol – vase – caterpillar came up, so I drew the first thing that came into my mind – a bandit caterpillar with a gun, and a shattered vase.

The manic bandit caterpillar is born.

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Collectively, we named the caterpillar “Sweaty Bob”. Sweaty Bob is a character of nervous disposition. And he just can’t stand art. Whenever he sees a work of art, he has to destroy it in a state of mad frenzy. This character trait makes him an unreliable employee (in his usual gangster activities) – he just can’t help getting sidetracked all the time.

Later in a game, another word combination came up: parrot – telephone – boat. That is how Sweaty Bob’s boss came to life – a mafia magnate parrot Don Francesco, who is casually floating on a gondola in Venice while chatting on the telephone.

I really liked the new Sweaty Bob character, so I made a few stencil prints at home using paper, acrylic paint, sponge roller and a household sponge. If you, like me, don’t have access to screen printing facilities, paper stencils allow you to re-create something similar. I particularly enjoy mixing the sponge roller, which gives a consistent colour coverage, with a sponge, which creates textured, fluent strokes.

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My colour palette came out slightly chaotic, as I didn’t have a clear colour plan before I started. Really, I just couldn’t wait to get going on actual stencilling. Some colour combinations worked better than others, and I discovered that printing with white paint on a darker colour worked well.

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I think that bright contrasting primary colours work best for me, so this bright red print is my favourite.

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