Medium Duty Tow Truck Cartoon for Tow Times Magazine

Edit: This Medium Duty Tow Truck Cartoon Vector Clip Art is available for purchase! Click here


My Big Rig Tow Truck Cartoon sure started me down a road of illustrating giant, chrome-covered beauties. Ever since I posted about how I created my ‘Big Tow‘, it’s been one of my most popular designs. (and one of my most pirated!)

Recently the good folks at TowTimes Magazine Online – – contacted me about creating a Medium Duty Tow Truck Cartoon for an upcoming Tow Show t-shirt. Honestly I do enjoy creating these fun caricatures of so of course I said YES and it was on to the concept stage using a photo they provided.

Here is where I rough out angle, loose details, and start marinating on the overall layout of the t-shirt.

tow times sketch1
I use Photoshop with the super-awesome Frenden Photoshop Brushes to start this process. To you purists – YES, I do know how to use a pencil – however right now I do not have the desk space for our scanner, and I actually enjoy the flexibility of sketching on my Yiynova Tablet Monitor.

I was instructed to keep colors to a minimum to save on printing costs, so in the next step where I start adding more details and color, I visualize in my head “BLACK BLUE RED GRAY” (ok well underbase, detail white) as I block in the color. At this point I rough out my background, and add vector elements like their logo.

(FYI – when printing on dark t-shirts, you need an underbase for the color to lay down on, and a detail white to really pop out your art – especially if it’s a white truck – so this is actually a 6 color print). Tow Times had a couple changes, but they were minimal and I was able to move onto final vector artwork.

Here is the final layout!

Shiny shiny! This was created using the latest version of Adobe Illustrator. I use Pantone Coated Spot Colors and gradients to get my fades. (gradient meshes won’t translate into spot colors when you send it to a RIP, but that’s a story and tutorial for another time)

Detail shot!

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 7.33.39 PM
Thanks for looking! More Big Rig vector art goodness to be posted soon! – Kristina

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