Blown Covers, ChronicleHE, WSJ

After a very slow start to the week, things started picking up on Thursday morning, so I’ve been pretty busy yesterday and today, and just now have a chance to catch my breath. Above was my entry into the “Blown Covers” contest this week, for which I was chosen as one of the runners up (this week’s theme being ‘Food’).

Yesterday’s rush job was from the Chronicle of Higher Education, which was an article about the Supreme Court Decision on Obamacare (pictured above), and then I also had a quick turnaround assignment for the Wall Street Journal which resulted in the illustration below (which I just finished up, and may yet have some tweaks before it gets signed off on). Next week I’ll be starting on the ‘museum figures’ project (got the go-ahead on several of them to go to finish), and may take the weekend off from ‘portraits’ just to give myself a breather.

And just for the heck of it, I’m also posting two of the preliminary sketches for the WSJ job (it was one of those rare ones in which I was actually happier with the sketches than with the final. I was so hell bent on getting it done by the deadline that I didn’t notice until I was finished how much of the spontaneity had gotten lost in the process.

Halfway Point

Facebook Faces

#95, and the halfway point in my summer challenge to draw a portrait of each and every one of my ‘facebook friends’ (that is, as long as I don’t add too many new friends in the meantime). This is a rather quick one of Kathy, a high school classmate, which I originally wanted to do in black and white, but couldn’t resist the urge to add a watercolor wash (but at least I kept the colors simple). Kind of busy today, thanks to the news about the Health Care Reform Supreme Court decision. I ended up with a quick rush job this afternoon, plus another large project due tomorrow that I’m about to start work on (samples will probably be posted tomorrow once the dust settles).

Jack (92) Jim (93) Candy (94)

Facebook Faces

Today I took some time to try and get accustomed to the scratchboard tools. Above is a portrait of another high school classmate, Jack (or Jacek, as he seems to be going by these days) done in black and white scratchboard. Unintentionally, this style of scratchboard seems to harken back to my style of the mid-90s, which tells me I need to do some more practicing to get more comfortable with the tools again. Below is a portrait of another schoolmate, Jim (actually more of a schoolmate of my younger brother #88 and if I recall, another of this particular ‘gang’ was #10). I did this one in black and white to start out, using the same scratchboard tool, but black on white, but then added some color watercolor on top of it.

Then, much later in the day, I did a watercolor portrait of our longtime friend Candy, whom I went to college with back in the early eighties. Not the most flattering photo (she was getting her hair permed for a local theatrical production), but she didn’t give much else to work with.

Vickie (90)

Facebook Faces, Green Prints

Today I spent some time getting used to the new ‘painting’ tools. Some false starts with the acrylic and gouache toolsets, which I wasn’t happy with, then I monkeyed around with the oil brushes until I found some that seemed to work well for me. This portrait is of another high school classmate, Vickie done in oils, the first painting I’ve managed to do in Painter XII. I’ll likely get to another one later today, but first I’ve got some sketches that I need to get done for some upcoming projects (one of which is pictured below).

And later in the day, I did another oil painting portrait using the new tools, another high school classmate, Cindy.

Tom & Geri (88) Doug (89)

Facebook Faces

My brother Tom and his wife Geri only use facebook as a ‘business entity’ for their Chicago restaurant, so I did a ‘two-for-one’ portrait today. And since I’ll be using the watercolor/colored pencil combo for my usual ‘blown covers’ entry, I thought I’d use this opportunity to explore what has changed in Painter XII with those tools. A lot of interesting developments in the watercolors, and so far I’m happy with what I’ve discovered, plus I also finally tracked down the ‘brush tracking’ settings, so that the stylus is starting to better emulate what I’m meaning to do (still a 4 foot long rubber pencil, but at least the boxing gloves have come off – see yesterday’s post if this confuses you).

I’ve got quite a bit of sketching to do this week for upcoming projects, so I’d best stick with the pencil tools for the time being and perhaps work a little on the scratchboard just to get my ‘go-to’ styles up to snuff.

Later in the day, completed another portrait, this one of another high school classmate, Doug, who was the younger brother of #8. I started this one out in black and white with the scratchboard tool just for practice’s sake, but was so intrigued by the new watercolor tools, that I went in and played around with them to add some color afterwards.