My excellent nephew Dane turned five years old this past week. I wanted to do something nice for him, but nothing cool immediately jumped to mind. I'd done the map of Blackbeard for him previously, so I thought I'd stick with the piratical theme and struck upon the notion of doing a wanted poster for him.
The idea came to me as I was watching Aardman's excellent The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists for the umpteenth time with my mother. Wanted posters are a big part of the plot (with the Pirate Captain's wanted poster starting out at a pathetic 12 doubloons and increasing exponentially as the movie goes on), so I started with the original design of the Pirate Captain's wanted poster and made it unique to Dane.
I took a piece of heavy 11x17 Bristol board and soaked it in tea (decaf, the wretched stuff). After it dried, I went over it with dirty ink for the greyscale stuff and thick black ink (using a brush) for the important stuff. I was pretty happy with it, it's a neat-looking piece with a good sense of scale. I had planned on folding it up but I was so happy with it that I made a cardboard carrying case for it, as my mother was taking on a plane with her.
My sister-in-law sent a charming little video of Dane opening up his gift (which included a DVD of The Pirates! and a skull-topped pencil) and it made my day. Thanks to director Peter Lord and writer Gideon Defoe for making a great movie that continues to inspire me, and thanks to pirates (who know why they're the best).