In order to break the monotony of a fairly busy month of cartoons and scratchboard illustrations, I approached a few projects with an attitude of experimentation. I did a few ‘pastel’ illustrations for my east coast newspaper client this month. One of them about a Brooklyn Writers colony (above), and another one about split personality (below). Still using a bit too much purple in my color palatte I see.
The above illustration was for a southern evangelical magazine client. I’d done quite a bit of work for them in the early 90s, but the assignments grew less and less frequent over the years. This was one of the rare digital images I created for them. Working in a ‘oil pastel’ medium to emulate a painting style (the ‘brushes’ were still a bit intimidating to me around this time), I’m still struggling with this style of work, putting too much dark and detail into the background and leaving the foreground character kind of sketchy and indistinct, mistakes I hopefully wouldn’t make in the future.
For my children’s magazine client this month, I had a map of the Dead Sea area. This was one of my favorite maps of the year, having a lot of fun with the desert terrain. I ended up using this one on a ‘compilation postcard’ a couple years later.
I also had a couple color cartoon assignments this month, where I mixed up the usual ‘colorization’ technique a bit to add some special effects. For instance in the ‘chalkboard’ in the ‘teacher’ illustration below for a catholic publication, and in the ‘mona lisa’ images in the ‘puzzle page’ illustration below that.
In this posting I’ve chosen a few of the more unusual stylistic experiments I played around with in March of ’01. I have been trying to develop a sort of ‘painterly’ style this year, but using ‘oil pastels’ instead of ‘oil brushes’, because at the time, the brushes sort of intimidated me. I’ve done very little oil painting in my life, and it is just as difficult to do well digitally, as it is to work in this medium with traditional materials. Anyhow, I continue to give it a try when clients are willing to let me try it.
The illustration at left was for an evangelical christian magazine. I don’t remember what the story was about, but I do remember using my wife as a model for this one (changed her a bit here and there, but she’s still recognizable). Nice colors, but I still seem to be leaning heavily on the purple, as I have all year long. Some darker colors would have certainly helped the contrast overall.
I also was given an assignment this month from a catholic magazine in which I suggested building a ‘mosaic’ using some of Painter’s tools built for that purpose. This was the first time I’d tried something like this, and I wasn’t real happy with the result (and consequently never went back to this technique again). Sometimes the experiments work, and other times they fall flat on their face.
Another experiment this month (again with oil pastels) was for my east coast newspaper client. This was a lot of fun, and came out quite nice, but it still looks as if I’ve got a lot yet to learn about working in this medium, especially in regard to use of color and contrasts.
I continue to experiment with the ‘painterly’ style, the above illustration for a ‘recipe’ feature in an east coast newspaper (the author whipping up a microwave dinner for her construction crew), and the illustration below for an evangelical women’s magazine.
Similar in style, but for a black and white publication was the illustration below. This was for one of my children’s magazine publishers, for their ‘teen’ poetry/prose magazine, and this one accompanied a poem about a pear tree.
Another ‘running’ themed illustration for a new client, this one done in a colored pencil medium (but approached as if I was doing my old ‘pastel style’). I wasn’t too happy about how this turned out, I probably would have benefitted from better reference material, and a stronger layout.
Below is a small spot illustration that I did for one of my children’s magazines this month, working in a combination of watercolors and colored pencils, but with a bit more of a ‘realistic’ style. Always fun to draw dinosaurs, wish I got the chance more often.