Wednesday, April 16, 2008

'Prom Queen'

TOM - Here is a recent illustration I did. It's part of a series of drawings that I'm setting out to do, all with some sort of loose narrative tying them together. I want to try an explore themes and ideas that I deal with in my sketchbooks and make them into more finished illustrations while experimenting with different techniques along the way.
With this one, I worked at "14x17", normally I work around "11x17" or smaller. It allowed me to use much more of my arm and I was able to whip out a big brush for the large black areas with the feathering. It felt god to stand up and work over it at times, a bit more physical than usual. I'm looking forward to doing a few more of these and seeing what comes out.


Edwin Vazkez said...

Incredible. What is this theme? Getting laid in a cool ass car? :)

Critique: The piece is amazing. The dashboard needs a little help. Everything fits so well my main problem is here. At first I thought I was looking out to the hood of the car. But realized it was the dashboard. Reference it a bit more to get it perfect. The sky and dashboard feel too close of a color. I use to own two classic cars and getting the dashboard will help it out a lot. Also reference the hinge from ceiling to rear view window. Maybe discolor the front windshield with a layer of color will distinguish there is a glass there.

Accents along the dash will help too.
I wish there was something more going on either in the rear view mirror (his reaction, police car approaching), or in the sky (police man, a city, the ocean, a comet), or an expression from the window chain woman (annoyed look, shocked look)

Overall, very nice. Reference


james flames said...

dude - really, you totally stepped it up on this one. amazing! the brush work is beautiful. is this the piece you were scanning when we last talked? did you use that trick? the coloring is sweet. and best of all, it's really sexy.

to be honest, i didn't notice the dashboard until edo mentioned it. he is right, of course - but to play devil's advocate, who knows what alternate reality this is happening in, where the cars may look like this? and who said it was a muscle car - i could be an old beat up piece of shit that was discontinued because the dash design didn't work. but yeah, reference is ALWAYS a good habit.

speaking of reference, did you use any for the two kids? the dress and hair are very well done. love it.

james flames said...

by the way....i gott get some posts're leaving me in the dust here!!!

naughty prom queen said...

I love this piece!! Wow Tom your getting better and better with each illustration you do! I actually knew this was the dashboard when I saw it probably cause I saw the radio. Though instead of making the steering wheel wavy I think you should keep it's to organic and it gets lost with all the shapes of her dress
I agree with the dashboard being to similar in color with the sky though. I actually like the silence of it...I think it's beautiful. Also she's really hot!! I love that she's growing flowers down she having a o?r?g?a?s?m???

thomas pitilli said...

Thanks for all the feedback guys!

EDO - I see what yr saying about the top of the dash looking like the hood, and I could see how a bit more color distinction is definitely needed. The actual dash itself was referenced, and I purposely didn't put a ton of detail in it because I wanted to draw the viewers attention to the two figures, the flowers, and dress. I've was trying to create some kind of visual argument between tightly drawn elements and loosely drawn elements. The important thing was just to get a sense of place.
As for adding more things to the drawing, I feel that all the information that needs to be there is there. I feel that the main focus of this drawing is the fact that this girl is growing flowers.

James - This was the one I was scanning the other day, it was a bitch to put together. I used SOME of the tricks, still messing with that CS3 stuff...
I didn't use reference for the guy and girl, but flowers yes.

Naughty prom queen - maybe she is having an o?r?g?a?s?m??? It's all up to you, the viewer...

Thanks again guys for the great feedback!!

james flames said...

i like how the expression on the guy's face is so clear in my head, simply due to the suggestion of the profile and the small amount of eyebrow we can see.

i must say, i didn't realize that she was "growing" flowers. i thought they were a part of, or embroidered onto, her dress. but now that you mention sub-plot (and i'm all about sub-plots in illos).

Edwin Vazkez said...

The Devil's advocate comment I don't buy. The way the dash panel is drawn, it is a classic car. I pointed out the reference to not it being a muscle car but because that was when car pieces were interchangeable like legos. Even in alternate realities the world is believable in their construction. Prime example Jack Kirby, Gary Panter. Or even Johnny Cash's 'One Piece At A Time'. He named all the parts that actually were to real cars. Good reference. Good illusion in believing this piece of shit.
IF this car was an old beat up piece of shit, make me believe that. I owned two pieces of shit. No headliner, holes in the floor boards, rotted out dashpad, missing knobs, ripped apart seats, chewed out steering wheel, tape holding the ashtray.

Tom-You can still drawn attention to where you want it by paying attention to all of the picture. Your use of color would definitely do this. Even with more attention to your backgrounds. Try it out. See what happens, I might be wrong or not. But even without extra elements in background it is cool.

I think the 'argument' between tightly drawn elements and loose is completely lost. Don't worry about trying to be too smart in elements that are not seen in your work. You are an illustrator. You deal with visual language. Worry about creating super great illustrations that pay attention to the entire page. Get this down pact, then conceptualizing your 'arguments' between lines.

If this is personal work, push yourself. It's okay if it fails.

Jenai pointed out something interesting. You tend to draw a lot of the back of peoples heads. You draw amazing faces. Something to be aware of.

YOur RPM meter is very high, which is smart too.

I didn't realize she was growing flowers either.

Edwin Vazkez said...

James...when you coming to NYC to hang out?

thomas pitilli said...

I respect yr comment, but not sure I completely agree. I now feel I could have drawn more in terms of detail on the dash, but I don't think it's detrimental to its believability as a car, which is most important. Guys like Jack Kirby and Gary Panter are prime examples of using the reference as a starting point; a blueprint to build their fantastic designs upon while maintaining a sense of place, not so much for mechanical accuracy. I would never believe that a Jack Kirby space ship would actually function in real life, but when I'm seeing it in a world that he created, I totally buy it, and don't think twice about it's authenticity, because he referenced it enough to get across the idea of it being a spaceship. I know a car is much more familiar to people, therefore we are much more critical of them, but it's the necessary details (steering wheel, radio, windows)that make people get it and move on. The most important job of an illustrator or cartoonist is to create a believable sense of place using reference wisely.
The back of the guys face is crucial to the drawing. I made the composition to feel like we are in the back seat, so really we are seeing it through his eyes, your expression is his.
Thanks again for the critique.

Anonymous said...

No problem, but one added thing was that Jack Kirby built his spaceships out of household products to draw them into his comics. So there was an actual spaceship he referenced. Gary Panter as well, check out his show at the Clementine. You'll see models of homes and structures.

Yes everyone knows it's a car. But for personal work you want to cause more problems for yourself. Just to see how things work.

But all in all it's a great drawing.