"Batfrog" cartoon character illustration for River Sweep 2010

“Batfrog” llustration for the 2010 River Sweep t-shirt.

For the past few years I have been creating the illustrations for the Ohio Canal Corridor‘s annual Cuyahoga River cleanup River Sweep event.

For past illustrations, the theme was cartoon version of famous paintings with the River Sweep frog mascot. For 2010 they decided to mix things up and go with a Batman-inspired theme, hence “BatFrog”.

Initially the concept was to feature BatFrog perched atop one of the awesome Guardians of Transportation of the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge with the Cleveland, Ohio skyline in the background and the BatFrog spotlight in the night sky.

A quick rough sketch proved this to be unworkable as to include all the elements would require BatFrog to be quite small. The client wanted BatFrog big, front and center.

Next I created a revised sketch, which the client immediately approved:

Rough color was added to see how the design worked, and I experimented with some comic book style high-contrast shading. The color palette needed to be limited as this illustration would be screenprinted on t-shirts.

For the sake of completeness, I worked up a version with more green to the outfit, which we all decided didn’t work as well. A second green would have added another color to the t-shirt printing, and to keep costs down we needed to stick to 3-5 colors.

After creating the vector art in Adobe Illustrator, type elements were also added. The final art including the styled text uses only black, gray, yellow, green and blue. The white text tagline at the top of the image here was used for print materials only and a separate version without the tagline was used for the t-shirt printing.

"Batfrog" cartoon character illustration for River Sweep 2010

I also created the Statue of Liberty frog-themed design for River Sweep 2009.

7 thoughts on “Batfrog

  1. Hi there George !
    I think the idea is great. I like the design and all. Noone could let you down on uttering anyhting about your drawings, but, the idea is not original and I think that with all your expertise, you could come up with a new Simpson family or something that could be your very own.
    I wish I lived in your country and I wish I could reach all devices like you do to come up with ORIGINAL WORK. I hope you do, very soon. Work on it if you feel like it. Your buddy,
    George Modilevsky ( Google ). Ciao !

  2. I really like your work! The Statue of Liberty one is great too, much better theme I thought. (commissioned work and all)

    Did they ask you to design the shirt for this year’s River Sweep??? I haven’t heard much about the 2011 event and am looking for as much info as I can get. They don’t seem to be marketing.


    1. Thank you! They are indeed doing a 2011 River Sweep and I am working on the t-shirt art right now. Info should be coming out soon. Feel free to email me for more details.

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