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.


thomas pitilli said...

My favorite thing about this is the all around happy vibe it's giving me. I think it has a lot to do with the color, very nice. I like the watercolor effect you got, and i really love the way the clouds look. If I lived in that town my whole life and looked forward to this parade (...) I would be hyped right now! I do miss your brush in this one, but i totally understand the crunch time part of it, and in the end I think it worked out, 'cause you left alot to work with in the color. And i actually picked up a copy of that 'rough stuff' once you left and it is incredible, very inspiring. Good job!

H. Stewart said...

There's a palpable sense of celebration, the musicians look caught mid-movement with exaggerated fluidity, like they're dancing. That is to say, I like it; nice perspective work. :)

PS DIY Punk ukulele?

james flames said...

thanks dude. yeah, the ukulele thing is a local band called mad tea party. i haven't listened to them (tho i'm sure they're no 'good sports') - and the 'diy punk' thing is a reference to something they say in the article. i don't think they really know what diy punk is all about, but i don't write the shit (and besides i haven't heard them, so maybe...)