Friday, November 30, 2007

A Sharp Dressed Man

JAMES - looks like Tom and I are on the same wavelength this month....
when i was last in NY, i mentioned to Tom how the next cover is gonna be about 'bagpipers' - and he says, "oh wow, so you're probably gonna do something cool with the plaids, huh?" actually, i had a couple of vague ideas, and i hadn't even though of playing up the plaid. thanks tom!

so 4 sketches came pretty easily, all using the plaid pattern - some making it very prominent, others just as a minor element. from the first time i saw his work in '92 or '93, i was heavily influenced by the style of Evan Dorkin - and one of the first techniques of his that i copped was how he would draw patterns (plaids, etc) into his characters' clothes (here's a good example - kinda similar to how Tom did the shirt pattern in the previous post). so i figured to make that technique a part of this cover. i also wanted to use actual plaid - for the sake of the sketches, i just downloaded some patterns - but the plan for the final cover was to use real plaid somehow.
the first three sketches are pretty cool, in keeping consistant with previous submitted sketches. i especially liked the first one, which would have been a really detailed illustration amidst the sea of plaid. but i also consistantly try to include a sketch that's a little different - more graphic design oriented or so. and this time they actually chose that last sketch for the cover. so i was psyched to flex some other muscles.

laid it out with simple pencil lines, with the help of a ruler and an enlarged copy of the original sketch. then onto painting. i knew that besides the pattern of the plaid, i wanted texture to be a big part of this piece. so i used a 'blended fibers texture gel' as a medium under the color for the hairy parts of the painting (the hat, pouch, rope, socks). and then i also used some kind of glue called 'mod-podge' over the yellow paint on the left side of the painting to greate a more fluid texture to contrast the clumpy texture of the hairy parts. i also made sure to be heavy handed with the layers of paint for the skin parts to show off the brush strokes.

once into photoshop, i did a little color adjusting, as well as contrast adjustments to show off the texture as best as possible. then i scanned one of my many plaid cowboy shirts - and did alot of color adjusting to get it to be mostly red & green. i cut out all the 'red' parts of the painting and put the plaid shirt in its place. not only did the scanned shirt bring in the pattern of plaid, but it also contributed another texture - the weave of the shirt. then i got really crazy and started airbrushing drop shadows all over the place to give it more depth and make it look more like a photo of a collage.
the only bummer is that the final photoshop file with all the little pieces and layers became corrupted in a transfer to my hard drive, so i can't go back and take the logo out or do anything else to it. oh well. next month: speech-makers? hmmmmmm....


Edowyn Vazkez said...

These are really good. They remind me or they reference classic Japanese Postcards.

thomas pitilli said...

Yeah, i really like the way you incorporated the plaid. Design wise too, it's really nice with all the diagonals. It seems like the negative space in this one is just as important as the figure.
Also, the colors are kinda Christmasy, and it works for this time of year.