Buzzbee's sticky or not-so-sticky situation – WIP

  • Hi all,

    Apologies about the long post...
    I would like to have this month's prompt as the last chapter in the set of three for my portfolio but I'm having a bit of an issue with the theme. I would like to keep it bee related so have been looking at who the enemy could be.

    I can't decide whether:

    • to have him trying to run away but can't as he's stuck in honey (although why there's honey on the floor I'm not sure). Either already stuck or just about to get stuck but not aware.

    • To be unaware of the enemy right behind him somehow

    • To accidentally get caught in one of his own traps he was setting for the enemy (think wile e coyote) - although I don't really know how traps work, I googled it and saw some horrible things (real traps, not ACME traps. I'm not searching for that again!

    • To hide and be a master of camouflage and blend into the flowers

    Eventually I decided on a disguise to hide from the army of marauding bears. He has tried to make himself a cunning disguise (not actually very convincing) and has made a set-up with his teddy bear to try and fool the bears he is one of them. Big furry bear slippers are part of the outfit.

    situation ideas.jpg
    situation ideas2.jpg situation ideas3.jpg !
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    First rough attempt at idea (please ignore composition it's really wrong!)
    situation ideas6.jpg

    Second attempt with bear paw looming into view rather than nose as it looked like a dog. Need to work on his outfit to make it better and somehow show he's made the bear club sign himself. Would need to work out the composition for this properly too.
    situation ideas7.jpg

    I'm not sure this idea actually makes sense without the explanation. I think I've overcomplicated it.

    I would still like to have another go at the stuck in honey idea if I have time, I just need to work out WHY the honey is there in the first place.

    Thanks for reading. Feedback always appreciated.


  • @lizardillo I LOVE the design of your bear-disguised bee, especially with the bee's thin legs coming out of the big bear paw boots.. All I have to offer is an observation of vague reverse coincidence: while I was watering my garden the other day, I kept seeing insects about the size of a bee, making a buzzing sound similar to a bee, but with only two sets of bee stripes. It had fuzzy antennae which helped me identify it through google as a lilac-loving moth. My chickens were not fooled by the moths' bee-disguises and were gobbling them up (my chickens know better than to eat real bees).

  • Wow, @lizardillo your research pages are really smartly laid out and thorough. That seems like a really good habit I might try to adopt for my own process!
    Your sketch is really cute and well composed, but I'm not sure I understand why the bee has to pretend to be a bear.

    I have to say, though, that I also love the thumbnail sketch further up that has the beast right behind the bee with the telescope. It really made me laugh.

  • Thanks @RachelArmington I really like his bear disguise but as @Valerie-Light said, it’s not that obvious he’s wearing it to try and fool the bears to hide from them. I think we have bee-hawk moths in the UK, they look spectacular but I’ve never seen one in real life unfortunately.

    @Valerie-Light I do quite like the version where he’s looking for the enemy but they are behind him too. I might have a go at that one. It’s not so hard to understand as the costume version. I think I’ve been overthinking it all. The process with the images is just how I’ve always worked. I find it really helpful. I’m a graphic designer so there’s always a bit of research and development like this that goes on at the beginning of a branding or logo project.

    Thank you.

  • I love the concept and I think your character stuck in the honey is definitely working.

    My concern with both the snout and the paw is I can’t see much of their action. I don’t know what they’re doing. Are they investigating the hero or the spot? Are they about to eat honey? Or are they just passing by with the nose or claw in frame?

    I’m also a fan of the bear off in the distance. Could be just seeing the bee. Could be angry or confused or charging. Then the bee has to decide to fight, hide or amputate its leg and flee.

  • I’ve been trying the “it’s behind you” idea. I’ve tried bears and hornets. I bit more research shows hornets would be more of an enemy to bees than bears really. They attack nests and the bees all swarm to fight them. I think bees vs hornets makes more visual sense.

    I think I’ve settled on ‘Murder Hornets’ because the scale of the bears in comparison is just too big to get into a frame and show any intention of why they are there (as @Kevin-Treaccar has make a good point).

    I’m going to change them to ‘Battle Hornets’ and put armour on them as I’m not exactly sure I want actual murders going on! I’ve found some great animal armour refs on google (if you’ve never searched for mouse armour then please do, it’s amazing!!!)

    I had a play with a few angles and scenarios but I think the hornets finding the pairs hiding place and hovering above them (without their knowledge) and sharpening their weapons with a pencil sharpener ready for attack is a bit easier to understand in a single image than the bear costume. His bear has a telescope as he only has one button for an eye. The bear is just a stuffed toy but I would like to give the impression he treats him like a companion, like a child would do.

    I know hornets actually have a sting on them but I drew one sharpening it and it looked a bit weird.

    The pink bits will be an attempt at camouflage using flowers.

    I’m also having a go at the ‘stuck in honey’ once I can work out how the honey got there (fell of a wagon? He dropped a jar?) so I will see which idea I will go with.

    Thanks for the input it’s really useful.


  • @lizardillo You could try combining the battle hornets and stuck in honey concepts, by having the hornets having lobbed honey “grenades” at your hero. I feel like this would logically make sense if the quest your bee is on is to find and take back the honey that the hornets stole from her colony. Plus, I really loved your sketches of the traveler stuck in honey, so I might just be angling this to see the final of that.

  • @ajillustrates that’s a great idea thanks. It actually makes the battle hornets actually battle too. I liked the stuck in honey concept as it continued with the theme so I’ve been trying to work out a way to get it to work. Watch this space....

  • @lizardillo the Hornet idea is really good actually and your latest sketch is pretty much on point.I would like to share one idea I had in case it might spark something!
    If I were you I would seriously consider making your Bee have the upper hand and making a honey trap for the Hornets with his Teddy Bear acting as a decoy covered in honey!(the stuck in honey is an intriguing concept,don t let it pass by 🙂 )

    either way , cannot wait to see how this turn out!

  • @Georgios-Christopoulos oh wow thanks. That’s also a great idea, that fits in with the trap sketch in one of the early ideas too. I’ll sketch both and see which one I can manage to draw that looks convincing. Sometimes I can see what I want to draw in my head but it just won’t come out of my pencil 😂

  • @ajillustrates something like this? Please excuse the fact I’ve not used a proper perspective grid and there is absolutely no environment in this at all but it’s just for the concept idea. It might need a bit more of a dramatic angle such as an ant’s eye view 🤔? It’s 9.40pm here in England so I’m calling it a night on this for tonight. Thanks again for the help 👍👍👍👍👍👍


  • @lizardillo Yeah, that looks great! And I think you're right, lowering the camera may create more drama because we'll see the wasps descending down onto the hero some more, while we'd be closer to her frustration with being stuck in the muck. And I never use a perspective grid, so no worries there 🙂

  • Really interesting! Loving that you’re sticking with your bee character.

    One little suggestion: instead of looking at the honey, have the bee looking at the antagonist, as that is the greater threat. If I was in their place, while I would pay some attention to being stuck in honey, I think most of my attention would be on the hornet army.

    Either way, you’ve got another winner here!

  • @Melissa-Bailey-0 I turned the head around and it looked much better thanks.

    ...then that got me thinking... as he was looking at the hornets I thought about what @Georgios-Christopoulos said about turning the tables on the enemy.

    In YET ANOTHER change of direction I have decided that he is attacking the hornets and the hornets are in such a sticky mess they are retreating.

    I have one last decision to make and that’s whether the honey is being flung at the hornets via the catapult he has on his belt (hopefully no one will notice it’s about three times it’s original size😂) or by jumping on the end of his honey stick (‘with a huge pile of honey on there that he was carrying in his backpack (bought from the Buzz Inn) - hence the empty jars.

    Thank you for such a team effort with this.

    This is the last time I will change my mind and I promise 😂

    Thanks again


  • @lizardillo Run with it!!!

  • @lizardillo this is it. Both unexpected, heroic and really awesome overall. Keep it up!

  • @ajillustrates @Georgios-Christopoulos thank you 👍

    I think there’s steam coming off my brain after all of this! 🤯😄

  • @lizardillo LOVING this direction, and how you turned the tables on the enemy! Way to make your character heroic.

    (This month's prompt is making you the poster child for @Lee-White's "50 Thumbnails"!) 😂

  • @Melissa-Bailey-0 thank you. I think I was one thumbnail away from curling up in a ball and hiding in a corner 🤣

  • @lizardillo I think the new one makes more sense! Love this idea of the Bee character being the hero.

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