25 September 2007

Bushwacked


A busy couple of weeks followed by a period of relative quiet. My son just started his senior year in high school, a couple weeks into it anyways, and the rest of us were settling into our fall groove. Had a fun assignment for Barrons, who needed a portrait of W for an article about his troubled economic legacy. One of my more successful color pieces of the year.

Over one of the weekends during this period, I did a trio of illustrations for the Far Eastern Economic Review out of Hong Kong, a portrait of the Taiwanese leader changing flag designs, a tourism 'overview' piece targeting air travel (below), and one of a soldier to accompany an article about crackdowns on dissidents during the upcoming festivities (below, right). These assignments usually arrive sometime Friday, and I need to get them finished by Monday, my time. The AD is easy to work with, gives me a good variety of subject matter to illustrate, and good opportunities to practice my 'asian faces' and portraiture skills.

Also did a number of pieces over the past few weeks for the Wall Street Journal. The usual bi-monthly 'health column' gig, one on a new brand of toothbrush, and another tricky one on hemorrhoid treatments (both pictured below)

For the same newspaper, did a black and white chart accompaniment spot on consumer staples stocks, and another color same day illustration (don't quite remember what the topic was, something to do with bad situations having unexpected benefits...but it was a fun one, involving thorns and dramatic lighting) (both pictured below)



And in addition to all these, I also had a small spot project for Niche Media for one of their regional pubs, to accompany an editorial about the 'war on xmas' (pictured below). The idea came much quicker than the time the finish ended up taking. I had a lot of false starts on it, trying to get the tree to look realistic, and ended up doing a lot of research on the various parts of the illustration (tree branches, anti aircraft guns etc).





Earlier in the week, had a job from the Chronicle of Higher Education. These usually arrive late in the week, and are due early the next week. This particular one was about 'saving our institutions', and the sketches were both received well, and I was fortunate to be able to pick whichever one I wanted to finish up (pictured below). A nice perk, unlike the assignment that follows...

Around this time, I also had a full page illustration for the American Bar Association, something to do with contracts and disputes. I was given a fairly concrete layout on this one, and not much creative license. Rather time consuming, and as usual with full page scratchboard assignments, I'm less than happy with the end result. I need to find a better way to approach the 'full page' assignment. The scratchboard just doesn't seem to be the best solution, at least the way that I'm doing it. Too busy, and the colors tend to diffuse the impact of the medium. This one also required a lot of research into foreign currencies (which I took from online sources, manipulating them with 'scratchboard filters' before placing them, so that they better fit in with the rest of the illustration), which needed to make up the 'mountain' below the characters and torn contract. (pictured below)

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