10 July 2003

Playing with Paints

For the third year in a row, I was handed a full page 'automobile' illustration assignment from my long time east coast newspaper client. Cars are not my strong point, but I'll dive right in, if for any other reason, just to get better at my weak areas. Used a vw beetle as my 'car' this time, as this was focusing on 'stylish money saving vehicles'. I used to own a '74 yellow bug, and have had my eye on these new beetles for quite a few years (we eventually got one a couple years later, yellow, just like this one). I chose to finish this piece in a 'painterly style', and it turned out quite nice. The hardest part was getting the 'skid marks' to look right.

Another piece for the same client, was this illustration on 'bug migration'. The story focused in on how bugs get confused by all the new cell phone towers and the lights from airports, and change their migratory patterns. I used a combination of techniques and mediums for this one, plus also cheated a bit, copying and pasting bugs to make a 'swarm (although drawing in many of the wings individually so that it didn't look so much like I copied them). Not too crazy about the dark color I chose for the background, but I didn't want to use black. Perhaps I should have gradiated the background a bit more, maybe darker at the top and lighter at the bottom, and perhaps a beam of light across the thing so that some of the bugs could be sillouetted. Hindsight is a great thing.

I also had a rather strange assignment from the same paper this month where I also dipped into the virtual 'paintbucket'. It was requested that I do a piece for an article about 'spying', where it would look as if a person were peeking around behind the newspaper at the reader. Probably the closest thing to a painted self portrait I've ever done of myself 'on assignment'. Hope it didn't creep out too many Long Islanders to see my face peeking out at them from the daily paper.

The above illustration was for a jesuit publication, this article being about that famous conversation between Jesus and Pontius Pilate about the nature of 'truth'. I wanted to do something a little different than the usual 'scratchboard' that I had been doing for this client, so I tried something a little looser and experimental.

Below is another map for my children's publication client. This one having to do with different types of forests/trees and their locations around the world. The map was pretty straightforward, but the trees along the bottom were quite detailed and time consuming both in rendering and in research.

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