Getting Started on Oscar

Oscar Poster

Every year for the past 9 years or so I have put together an ‘Oscar Caricature Poster’ for my brother’s restaurant in Chicago to present to him on the day of his ‘Oscar Party’ (which he has been hosting at his home since long before he opened the restaurant, dating back to at least the early to mid-nineties). This is usually a complicated undertaking for me, least of which from an organizational standpoint, and more often than not, the hardest part of all is just ‘getting started’. I thought I’d share some of the preparations this year in addition to the usual ‘grand unveiling’. Above is a portion of what I got completed today, and I’ll likely be going back and working on this off an on the rest of the month, whenever I get some free time.

In years past, I’ve experimented with ‘special effects’ for this poster, at one time doing it all in 3-D the year that ‘Avatar’ was in the running, and last year doing it in color to commemorate ‘The Artist’, but I think I’ll be going back to basic black and white this year, and perhaps just tweaking the ‘pen and ink style’ towards a bit more fluid and sketchy line quality.

I usually start with a rough idea of the overall composition, based on at least one or two large ‘front runners’ in the acting category (Lincoln was an obvious choice, especially since it will look so good from a large profile standpoint, anchoring the right hand side of the picture). I’ve also decided to put everyone in a lifeboat this year along with a tiger, to give a nod to ‘Life of Pi’, which is the only ‘best picture’ nominee not to get any acting nominations. Once I’ve started on the first few caricatures, I then start plotting out where everyone else is going to go, and the rest of the project seems to fall into place (although I usually make some organizational changes late in the game for balance or composition, or the need to fit ‘just one more person’ into the crowd). I’ll be posting more of this project as I make further headway, and hope to have it all done by the end of the month.

Oscar Poster 2012

Oscar Poster

My brother throws an ‘oscar party’ at his restaurant in Chicago every year, and for the past 8 years, I have presented him with a ‘caricature poster’ of all the nominees in honor of the occasion. (If you want even more historical trivia, me and my younger brother first began watching the oscar broadcasts in 1972, and neither of us has missed one since, and often will call to recap the highlights no matter where we happen to be)
In past years, I have done this poster in black and white line, but for some reason, this year I was inspired to try doing the entire thing in a ‘painterly’ style (perhaps it was the inclusion of a ‘black and white’ movie in the nominees which inspired it). Almost didn’t get this one done in time, but put in some extra hours on Friday evening to finish it up so that I can print out a copy tomorrow to present on Sunday night. You can click on the image above to see a larger, more detailed version.

Link to all the posters in the series.

Sneak Peeks

Baker Book House, Dover, Jukejoint Handmedowns, music, Oscar Poster

Been a while (for me) since I’ve updated the blog, but it has not been because I haven’t been working. I’ve spent most of this past month working on a pair of projects for two different publishers, neither of which I’ll go into too much detail about. The illustration above is one in a series of approximately 30 outfits for a paper doll project which will probably be going to press rather rapidly this spring, as soon as certain details are ironed out (more details as it becomes available). Below is an example of one of a series of 30+ sketches I’ve been doing for the interior of a book for another publisher (I’ve posted the color cover illustration previously here), and I’ll be starting to move onto the finishes for these in the next couple weeks. Surprisingly, same day, and short turnaround work has slowed way down this past month, which is just as well, as there weren’t many spare moments during the day to fit them in. But I sure miss the sense of completion that quick turnaround work gives you, so I’m hoping that will pick back up again as the year progresses.

Besides the drawing, I’ve also been working hard this spring on finishing up the recording and mixing of my band’s first full length cd release, and we hope to have it available by the end of April to coincide with a high profile gig we just booked. I reworked the cd cover since I first designed it about a year ago (a full six months before we actually began recording tracks), and here’s a sneak peek at the cover art. (track listing & order still subject to change at this point)

And on top of all this, Oscar season is quick approaching, and I’m way behind on this year’s poster (my brother hosts an ‘Oscar Party’ every year at this restaurant, and I’ve been presenting him with a caricature poster of all the nominees for the past 7 years). And if that weren’t enough work, I’ve decided to try doing this year’s poster in a different style, and in color. Here’s a sneak peek at a small portion of that piece:

Now back to the drawing board…

Oscar Poster 2011

Oscar Poster


Each year, my brother Tom in Chicago hosts an ‘Oscars Party’ at his restaurant Broadway Cellars. For the past six years or so, I’ve presented him with a gift of a framed print featuring all of the nominated films, actors and actresses done in a group caricatured portrait. Usually they are in black and white (last year, I broke form and actually drew it in 3-D that required special glasses to view), and all of these posters are available as signed digital prints in a variety of sizes (they look best at about 18 x 20). To view a larger detailed version, click on the image above.

All the posters in this series can be found here.

Oscar Poster 2010 – Now in 3-D!

Oscar Poster

(update March 6) Down to the wire, with the oscar party at my brother’s restaurant less than two days away, and I’ve finally finished the black and white version of this year’s oscar caricature poster. A bit of a crowded mess this year, with ten nominations, but finally managed to crowd everything in. I’ll be spending part of the day on Saturday working up the 3D version, and hopefully can get it printed in time to take with us to Chicago tomorrow afternoon. (my order of 3D glasses came in the mail earlier this week, so I’ll have several pairs to bring with me)
Every year on ‘Oscar Night’ my brother in Chicago hosts an ‘awards party’, and for the past 6 years I’ve been doing a commemorative ‘caricature poster’ to present as a gift. This year, with all the fuss about the new ‘3D’ process utilized in the film ‘Avatar’, I thought I’d try my hand at a 3-D oscar poster this year (of course this meant tracking down some special glasses for viewing it). Above is the 3D version of the black and white art. (You’ll need a pair of the ‘old fashioned 3D glasses’ to view it – (Red cellophane over the left eye and Blue over the right eye). You can click on either image above to get a larger detailed view.

The finished poster is approximately 14 x 16 printed on an 18 x 24 sheet of quality paper.
You can see all the rest of the posters in this seriesĀ under the ‘portfolio’ section of the menubar.