JAMES - a great band, i wanted to do something really cool for this show. also, by overwhelming recommendation, i was planning on getting these screen printed by the Half and Half - so i had to knock it out of the park.
for the sake of budget, and also to challenge myself, i decided first to keep this to two colors only. and if i only have two, i wanted to avoid black altogether - which is definitely a nice challenge for me. i did a set of sketches in my sketchbook, and after hitting paydirt on a cool image, i went straight to Photoshop to do some color studies.
using photoshop was an easier way to 'sketch' the color usage - i wanted to 'fake' a third color by having the two main colors overlap, and also utilize the white of the paper as an actual fourth color. i had many themes that i wanted to hit with this one, all revolving around an actual "trail of death". the skeleton, the snakes (rattle of death), the cross, and the smoke which represents the life leaving this person. the key is a narrative component to give the skeleton some sort of backstory. what that story is, is up to you.
once i had the composition set, i went to the drawing table and drew the skeleton and also the gothic lettering for the band name. both ink on vellum - the skeleton was witha brush, the letters with a nib.
frankly, i've been struggling for awhile with the guilt i feel when i use too much digital in my illustrations. with this one (and the proceeding ones, to be posted next), i decided to toss those feelings aside and see how digital can actually benefit me incredibly. so this time i used the illustrations of the skeleton and the band-name lettering, but the rest was all digital. the cross was drawn in photoshop, the blue "smoke" is all vector shapes i created, and the lettering at the very bottom (date, venue, etc) is a font that i traced with my Wacom tablet to slightly customize it. the results were extremely gratifying and did a great job of erasing some of that digital 'guilt'.
2-color screenprint, 20"x26", edition of 100
Nick and the guys at Half and Half did an amazing job on the printing. these will be for sale at the show, and thru my site after the 25th. see you there.