Common Descent – 3.91 - Thanks for the crazy score Darwin fans!

In 'Darwin's Dangerous Idea', Daniel Dennett called the theory of evolution the greatest idea that anyone ever had, and I tend to agree. To me, Darwin epitomises everything that is great about science, not only because of his discoveries and his prolific capacity to think outside the box, but because his theory fundamentally underpins the way we view the world and ourselves in it.

I have no idea whether my design will have any commercial appeal whatsoever, but I couldn't care less, I've been wanting to do it for so long now I'm not going to miss this chance to get it done. Thanks Threadless for lighting the fire under me... and go science!

initial sketch

tone & shading

Final Artwork

Prcoess Video

Watch this
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Pyne profile pic Alumni

Can't wait to see how insanely awesome this turns out! Have you thought about incorporating a finch or two?

All of my ideas for this challenge are of questionable commercial appeal, but I'm hoping that since they've made a challenge specifically for science, they might be open to designs that appeal to a more narrow and nerdy audience.

Looking forward to seeing how this (heehe) evolves!

sweet n sour
sweet n sour profile pic Alumni

Poor Alfred Russel Wallace :(


looks great...feels it'd turn out a touching portrait...good luck man!


i love it... i wonder if it would be dragged down much by the fact a lot of people don't know what Darwin looked like. Walking down the street 9 out of 10 people would think you are wearing a portrait of a man and his monkey. Maybe that shouldn't matter - educate 'em, right?

melmike profile pic Alumni

@Pyne, my original idea was actually to have finches in his beard, but after googling that and found a million people already had that idea, I decided to move away from it altogether, now I'm very happy with just the simple relationship of man and chimp.

@briligg, I said the exact same thing to my girlfriend about people thinking, "who's that old man with a monkey?" I don't know if it matters either. I remember a design recently that used a portrait of Darwin, there were a few "I have no idea who this is" comments... I guess all you can do is sigh.

@ sweet n sour, poor Wallace indeed, though he was credidted in Darwin's first paragraph, he's more or less forgotten. Although, if Darwin hadn't sat on his idea for 20 years, probably no one would even know his name at all.


Nice start.

soloyo profile pic Alumni
melmike said:




Man, is totally insane so far. Tone & shading are just incredible

tronbeardsley profile pic Alumni

Great work man, can't wait to see the finished product.

bortwein said:

Nice drawing. Your process reminds me of this:

I just laughed my ass off!

melmike profile pic Alumni
MyronMHouse said:
bortwein said:

Nice drawing. Your process reminds me of this:

I just laughed my ass off!

Fuk me, still laughing. All shall be revealed in a vid, in the meantime, I've changed the image to a gif. It's still just 'Draw the rest of the fucking head', but what are you gonna do?

BlancaJP profile pic Alumni

Looks awesome so far and I'm so sad to think so many people would not know who Darwin was or what he looked like. It's high time for this designs then.

So does it mean people don't know about the Darwin awards or what worries me more is they know and laugh at them but have no glue why it's called the Darwin awards.

BTW I agree with you on Darwin.

Matias Corado


Did I say that your illustration looks awesome?

MudgeStudios profile pic Alumni

Nice work in progress! Got a kick out of this thread too:) Have you taken a look at how this design will work on dark colors other than black?

melmike profile pic Alumni
MudgeStudios said:

Nice work in progress! Got a kick out of this thread too:) Have you taken a look at how this design will work on dark colors other than black?

Thanks, it also looks good on ink, obsidian or coal.


very nice!! Love to see more updates!!


I'd buy a print of that for my wall. The attention to light and shadow is just unreal right now. Great job good sir.




Michael Bancroft,

Great work! I like your minimalistic approach. I think you can submit the second (tone and shading) work as is.

Good Luck,



meh what I would say if I was an idiot. Amazing!!

melmike profile pic Alumni

Pending... nothing to do now but sit back, watch the screen, and chew on some green beens.


Awesome....This one will be the fittest to survive! ;)

moosabman profile pic Alumni

yeah its awesome

melmike profile pic Alumni

You guys are so nice, I just put up the video if anyone cares to watch it all unfold. If you do, you might want to grab a cup of tea beforehand though, it's 8 minutes long, but it comes with the dulcet tones of the legendary Carl Sagan narrating a brief history of evolution on earth.


Wow! Just wow! Those are some really awesome skills. The video (yes sped up from 15 hrs to 8 min) makes it look so simple to do but alas, I cannot. Much respect.

wantuhappy profile pic Alumni

Amazing work. I think I how smooth the shading is like it's almost done with chalk or pastels. Just great man.

TheInfamousBaka profile pic Alumni

Loved watching the process of this and it really makes me want to watch Cosmos again. I can't wait for Neil Degrasse Tyson's remake!

My favorite part is the coat, the texture is perfect, I can almost feel it.

Can't wait to $5 this!


Amazing. Thanks for sharing the video! Gotta go and watch it.

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