Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mallet Music

JAMES - yet another last last minute job, a real close one. the subject was already set, since the Apple Festival is the biggest thing this town has going on all year for 60 years or something (......), so i set out to present an image or an angle that hopefully hadn't been hit before, amongst all the years of this thing.

once i got going, a bunch of ideas started coming - i had just come back from ny, and i felt a nice momentum coming from it. one of the ideas (sketch #3) was a riff on one of my proposed ideas for the orange peel t-shirts, and another (sketch #5) was a take on an old propaganda poster (minus the propaganda). i really liked #1, and figured that to be the one. tho they liked the sketches, the publishers were instead looking for something that said "parade."

initially a bummer. but considering what came about, i'm glad i got a chance to one-up myself and do something more dynamic - and just better. i had picked up this magazine 'rough stuff' in ny (tom - get it!) which featured Steve Rude, and introduced me to Cully Hamner. it was mentioned in the magazine how both artists used the "camera" (the reader's view of the scene) in interesting ways - and especially Cully who has a neat way of setting up his panels with perspective lines first, then drawing the objects and charaters within that. i took all that and ran. this came out. they were happy with it, so on i go.

time was a big factor, since i was also doing the layout for the issue at the same time, i actually didn't know when i was going to have time to work on this. so i did two things i don't normally do - 1) the original drawing was done at 7x8, smaller than my usual 14x16, and smaller than the actual magazine size 10.75x12. also 2) i blew up the thumbnail sketch to 7x8 and put it on the lightbox so that the composition, perspective, body angles and proportion stayed the same, since i thought i nailed them in the small sketch. from there, tightening up the pencils was a cinch, especially with some tricks i learned from Steve Rude's stuff.

the third thing i did to speed up the process was to ink the whole thing in marker. Micron #'s 0.2, 0.5, 1 and the big Sakura Permopaque marker. no nib, no brush - no time. though in all honesty, i wanted to do that anyway. originally i wanted the lines to be even more thin and spare and let washes of color tell the scene. the other great thing about doing it so small is scanning - one piece! sweet.

again, i stole the majority of the color palette from the thumbnail sketch, and i attempted some watercolor-type effects with the wacom. my main intention was for the apples to be really red, and for the color of the characters' outlines be appropriate to their position in the space. i used lots of transparency adjustments; and blur effects on the confetti to keep it from interfering with the main illustration.
slapped on the logo and i kept the fonts used on the last issue, i thought they were appropriate. i'm really happy with it (even tho i realized something in it that i missed that's just killing me...), and it printed amazingly. next month is the halloween cover. oooooh.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Flowerr of Woman/The Powwer of Man

JAMES - just finished my heavy deadline it's time for experimentation. pencil, inks, watercolor, acrylic, lots of water and medium, on poor weak paper. almost tore a hole thru it. almost.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Part two

TOM- It was good to have James up here for the weekend. These are some of the drawing I did of him while he was drawing the two sketches from his last post. The sun was strong in that first one, and i think we both had some pretty weird expressions on as we were drawing. More sketch book stuff to come...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

NY Visit - part one

JAMES - Just got back. I had a hell of a time hangin with Tom and the rest of the boys and girls. We did alot of running around, and Tom and I did some sketching on the roof of the Met (top sketch above), and then rounded up the day with some more sketching back home (bottom sketch above). it was good to see so many Picasso's and a Van Gogh i never saw before, so i guess the bottom sketch has that kind of impressionistic vibe. it was also pretty damn inspiring looking thru Tom's new sketchbook, which likewise inspired the top sketch. he's got great stuff in there.

Tom also entertained us with some amazing stories of him vs. the MTA. don't mess with this guy! good time - be back soon.

by the way, anyone in the Asheville/Western North Carolina area - i'll be selling posters and artwork at the Hellsayers show this Saturday night at the Grey Eagle. great band, and i'm psyched to see them live. see the poster and listen to tunes here: i'll have lots of freebies and giveaways, too.

Friday, August 3, 2007


TOM- In keeping with adding more of a design element to my work, I'm trying to push myself in terms of composition, and not always having to use perspective or alot of people in the scene to make a drawing interesting. In doing that, this to me feels more like a logo or tattoo design.
I wish i could say i just thought of this and put it down on paper, but it wasn't really like that. Like anything else, i have a rough idea, then start scribbling, working, then reworking until it starts to look ok. This is usually done on typing paper and gets pretty messy. I wanted a real clean look to my inks, a little more controlled. With this being simple, i didn't want to add any unnecessary lines to confuse it. The final step was coloring in photoshop . My recent approach to that is to limit my colors and approach it more like a silkscreen, which this might become soon.