This has been the most successful piece I’ve created, if one uses repeat sales as a criterion (I do), and I think I know some of the reasons why. For one thing, the original inspiration for the way I drew the figures came from a Picasso retrospective at the New York Museum of Modern Art. For another, this was my third version of the piece, the first being in black and white, the second being a small color study. In the course of redoing it, lots of small decisions were made on what to include and what to leave out, colors and color value.
Although it may be hard to see here, the background is composed entirely of renderings of old record labels from the 78 era. I think they are beautiful examples of graphic art, and, of course , being circular they are in the perfect shape. These were rendered in sepia ink, sepia and mauve watercolor so as not to intefere with the figures in the foreground, which are outlined in bold black, and colored more brightly. The figures have some texture, which also helps pop them out.
Playing a musical instrument involves some strain and strength, Most people who don’t play seem to not realize this, so I made it a point to show some of that, particularly with the sax, trumpet, and clarinet players, blowing hard and sweating.
Quite a few people over the years have told me that they can “hear the music” when viewing this piece, which I think is a fine compliment.
While I’m far from expert at Photoshop, and still much prefer to do it all by hand, there is one feature that I’ve found to be invaluable for cleaning up the art, which is the clone stamp tool…..here are two details one before and one after cleaning up….since I am able to enlarge a given image some 500% on the screen and do the cleaning up on a pixel by pixel level, I can truly clean the art, and overall it appears far sharper to the eye, even if some of what I’ve done is so miniscule as to easily be overlooked…..the work is slow, and sometimes tedious, but worth it.
Many ideas came and went in the decision process for this 2 part Christmas card from a well-known restaurant chain in the Ohio area. The basic idea is to show happy customers in the front of the card, and a bunch of highly cooperative, happy elves working in the kitchen. Softer “night” colors were used in the front, and brighter ones for the “punchline” inside art. One aspect of the art that Donatos’ owner loves is the individual personality that each character has, which makes the art more interesting on repeat viewings. When a recipient finds a “layers of the onion” affect , they hold on to the card longer, maybe put it on their refrigerator, and thus view the company’s logo all that time – reminding them to use that company’s service!
In order to publicize their local busihnesses, the Corte Madera Chamber of Commerce commissioned me to create this illustrated map of downtown, with all its businesses, signage, seen from a bird’s eye view. It was quite a challenging job, imaginging the well known buildings as if from above, and still keeping them accurate. Good job, Rich!