Friday, March 30, 2007

Das Boot Illustrations

These are the rest of the samples that I did for a boot company. Not a real gig, but I liked them enough to want to show them. Not quite portfolio ready, but in this informal blogosphere they fit.

I looked at a lot of different boot designs to get an idea of what was being done, and then let myself play. Most of these ideas started out as visual puns. Water, fire, running and flying… I tried to be playful and have fun. I know I had fun, so I wanted to share.

Mavis Staples: The Gospel Finish

Here it is, the finished Mavis Staples Illustration. I had some problems wit the values, I'm a bit rusty with the airbrush. So by way of practice, I will be doing the Gene Autry illo with airbrush. I think this is close to the feel I wanted, the power seeming to both come from and to the figure. The faint glow around the figure ads a touch of the Divine in an old poster sort of way. The glow, colors and texture, I hope, have somewhat of an old Southern feel. Not too old I think but, I hope it takes you back to the 60s, and the A men corner.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mavis Staples: Cutting frisket

At this point, cutting frisket, I try to keep in mind not to clutter things up with cutting a lot of shapes that will need to be sprayed. Keeping it simple and value areas few so the piece holds together instead of looking like a jumble of cut outs. Also it really focuses the concept. I want the illustration to be strong, simple and poster-like. Also I think about texture while I'm cutting, should I use pressure or spray-thrus, and what that will add or distract.
Live fast, draw hard.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Draw Fast!

Ha! Here is a boot I designed for a well, boot company as a sample pitch. I was asked o submit samples for their kids boots and I did this. My thinking was, what kind of boot would I want to wear if I was a kid, in the rain, running and splashing, and jumping not quite over big deep puddles. Man, if they ever make this boot I will get a pair. Once the idea was there it took me about 30 minutes to do the vector art. With a neat work-around to get the thick key line, for the extra cool big water repellent look.
I'll post the rest of the samples later today.
Live fast, draw hard.

Gene Autry Editorial Illustration: Back in the saddle again.

A few years ago, as part of teaching by example, I kept every rough thumbnail and every sketch I did for every assignment for an entire year. It's bound into a nice 2 inch book that was a great teaching tool, and part of an exhibit of my work. Keeping my roughs made me more aware of what I was putting down and what I did at that early stage. Not to mention, force me into coming up with more than one good, usable idea. The notion that I would be keeping them lead me to take more time and care in drawing them, so they even look nicer.
I'm keeping this in mi ind with Gene Autry. I have heard two schools of thought on the number of concepts. A) After years of experience, you usually get it right the first time, so one is enough and you refine that along way.
B) The more the better. Anyone can come up with one good idea, a true pro can come up with more.
Well, sad me, I always get a bit rusty if I haven't done an editorial piece in a while and it's been a while. Seems like I have one idea. I like it, but it's only one. A tight close up of bad boy Autry in a dramatic composition that throws attention to his face. His face that has a cock-eyed grin. The article talks about the early, rougher, bluer side of Autry, different from the singing cowboy we all know and love. I had hoped to come up with more concepts. I have some flexible time coming up this weekend, so I may sit down again and give it a whirl.

Mavis Staples: The Gospel Illustration

Much time has been spent, lately, doing illustrations that I can't show because of NDA or corporate stuff. What I can show is this, an in progress of Mavis Staples for No Depression Magazine. This is fun, after many months I'm back to the black and white airbrush. Simple and clean, well okay not clean.
The big thing about this piece is that I have given in to the impulse to not do a close up of a singer. The idea I had was more about Mavis in context of what she's singing on her new cd (Gospel and Civil Rights era songs), and how she sings, with much power and emotion. So my idea shows her as a singer and as a conduit of a higher power. A bolt of lightin' from the Lord, or is she exploding with power herself? That's what I wanted to get to. Power, but from which direction, or both? Also, I'm still working through my love of Aaron Douglas.
At this stage (sketched, scanned, and value study done, I'm about to cut frisket today!)the illustration is free of cluttering detail, I'd like to keep it that way. My temptation is to ad bits of line swirling through describing stuff that may be clear enough anyway.

Also today will be concept work on an illustration of Gene Autry. After reading the article there is good reason to not show/refer to him in the Gentleman Cowboy manner.