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Making Pop Art from a Rubber Ducky

Updated on November 7, 2011

Design Create

Sometimes an idea gets a hold of me, and I have to give it form in this world. The first in my current series "Design/Create" Ducky is like that. I had a vision of a duck resplendent in Obama-esque colors presiding over the word OBEY; it seemed a natural absurdity to me. Like so much art, the idea forms itself almost unasked in the mind; certainly without any undue effort. The challenge is in translating the image in the mind's eye onto paper, or, as is the case in this series, into photoshop.


Steps along the way.

To begin with, it was necessary to find a properly licensed image that depicted a rubber duck in the right light, with the right attitude and properly posed. After all, the project is loosely based on the famous Obama poster; the one with the same color scheme. In it Obama is looking up and to the right; and light is illuminating his face. I needed to find a duck that had some of the same qualities. Using flickr, I found several decent candidates and eventually settled on the one pictured to the right here.

Almost used this duck!
Almost used this duck! | Source

Strictly Photoshop

My intention was to spend an hour or two on this project. Once i got into it, it quickly became apparent that creating the poster would take longer than that. For one thing, most of the people that had made tutorials for creating a poster with the Obama style graphics and colorization relied on a software program called Illustrator. I have no experience with Illustrator. Illustrator was essential in many people's estimation, because it makes the areas of color that create the image. There is however, at least one good tutorial out there that uses only photoshop. I found it, and after a couple of false starts, made my way through the whole thing and created the original image which I posted on facebook about a fortnight ago.

Final changes

After completing the Image, Riin suggested that perhaps "Quack!" would be a better caption. So I retooled the image to that end. The final result is here, and you can purchase the image on a t-shirt or mug if you want to at cafepress. My intention is to make a new image every day, five days a week, for the foreseeable future. Thanks for reading about my art!


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    • Robert Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Robert Hughes 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for the thumbs up, IDW!

    • idigwebsites profile image


      5 years ago from United States

      I've been doing PhotoShop recently just for the thrill of it, but I haven't done Pop Art images yet! It's so cool! Will definitely take a crack at that. Voted up and useful, awesome.


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