The Tongue Thief is a spoof movie poster about based on the old phrase, “Cat got your tongue?”
The image is a digital illustration done in Illustrator and Photoshop.
I think the biggest challenge for this piece was to convey the idea without drawing something gross. I kicked this idea around for quite a long time. While looking at some cat pictures, I finally got an idea.
I decided to do a completely new cat silhouette for The Tongue Thief.
A photographer friend of mine sent me a bunch of cat pictures. I’ve had them on my computer for years. I was looking through those when I found a pose that I thought would work.
Even so, I think this image turned out a little creepier than most of the other “horror” poster images I’ve done.
I used Adobe Illustrator to draw the cat silhouette based on the reference photo. I like Illustrator for this type of work because it’s easy to fix any mistakes.
Once I had the silhouette, I brought it into Adobe Photoshop. I used the silhouette as a layer mask. The white areas on the layer mask are opaque. Black is transparent. In this case the cat body is white. The eyes and the space around the cat are black.
For The Tongue Thief I applied the layer mask to a group of layers rather than just one. I used the paint bucket tool to color the cat’s body black.
Then I added another layer inside the group for the eyes. I colored those a very light color to make them look like they were glowing. I didn’t use any pupils. Because of the mask, I don’t have to be careful when coloring the eyes. The mask forces me to “stay inside the lines”.
The background is based on a photo of some leaf litter I took near my home. I used Photoshop to create a little more perspective for the photo. I added a blue and black gradient to make it look a little creepier. Since the cat is black and the background is supposed to be dark, I had to really play with the levels to create enough contrast.
While the result is certainly a little darker than what I usually do, I hope the result is still humorous.
Some people have told me that the fine print is the best part. It reads: “Not suitable for cats of any age. Or anyone. Don’t even read the poster. Oh, wait. Sorry. Based on the unoriginal screenplay, “Ahh ahh ahh ahh!” by Decisa Bahdphilm.”