Monday, February 15, 2010

Michael Phelps

So the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics have started! Yes, I know swimming is a Summer Olympics event, and that we won't be seeing any of Michael Phelps this time round (except he still seems to slip into commercials here and there...), but I created this piece a few months ago, and now seemed like the most appropriate time to post it. If I had to wait two years, I'd probably have lost it and it'd never see the light of day. And who's going to complain about looking at Michael Phelps, anyway?

It continues the portrait series I've been working on (Obama, Britney, Armstrong...) and it also continues the experimentation I've been doing with combining rendered and vector elements. Originally, I planned to draw a school of fish swimming with/fleeing from Phelps with the same attention and detail I rendered the swimmer. Last minute, I decided to try something a little different. I like the way the fish become more of a pattern upon the piece. Ideally, I'd like to have screen printed the fish directly on top of the original piece, but I don't have the facilities or nerve to do that...

Here's the original drawing, too. I've chosen to include it just so you can see how little I'm actually doing with photoshop. Everything tonal is done by hand. I basically just fill in large areas with color (background-aqua, phelps-peach; etc). The fish I drew on a different sheet of paper, scanned and then traced in Illustrator. The drawing is really doing the "heavy-lifting" of the piece. The color/computer aspect of the piece is really simplistic.

And since this blog is about my running also, I should also mention that this post is also extra appropriate to post since tonight is my first night of swimming for cross-training. I've got my speedo and cap all ready, wish me luck!

Anyway, Happy Olympics! Maybe I'll get a portrait of Apolo Ohno done in the next fourteen days...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Anatomical Valentine's Day! I know, I know, I can hear Mom already... "Why do you draw such weird things?? Why would you draw that for Valentine's Day? Your childhood was okay, right?" Yes Mom, it was quite lovely, thank you. I don't just have love in my heart. I have it streaming through me, head to toe!

This is a piece I created or a friend. It was for a box set of Valentine's cards. Sadly, she couldn't use it. Turned out another friend did a similar image of a skeleton and turned it in first. Completely different, if you ask me, but oh well.

I'm really happy I did this image, though. I think it turned out quite nicely. I even like the original ink drawing. I'm thinking of getting it framed. I have enough of my own art on my wall, though. Maybe I should give it to my Valentine to put on their's. Would you be my Valentine? Okay, okay, enough cheesiness for one post.

Front Runners New York Annual Report Cover Sketches

Just a few posts ago, I revealed the cover image for the FRNY Annual Report. In the post I mentioned, I created several sketches for project that I really liked. Well, in honor of the unveiling of the Annual Report to the club, I've decided to share with you the rest of the sketches!

Above is the sketch that most caught the attention of the club. They really thought it best caught the spirit of the club with the togetherness, diversity, and of course the rainbow. I really liked the idea for this image, but honestly the rainbow doesn't stick out as much as I would have hoped in the final. I really think I got caught up in the intricacies of the drawing and forgot to focus on the color shift. Looking back I see ways I could have emphasized it more, but hindsight is 20/20 and deadlines are even faster than me.

You can see The background ended up changing a lot (Really, there was no background before and simply, now there is one). This was my favorite development in the piece. I was happy to be able to incorporate the city and the park into the image. For me, the city and Central Park couldn't be more important to the club.
We meet every week (several times), race, host a race and generally escape from the city-ness in the park. The park is really integral to running in New York City and nearly any runner would agree to that. The city is also very important to Front Runners. Whether it is a First Friday social; a run across five bridges, along the waterfront, or down Summer Streets; or just the many great people from all walks of life, the city keeps everything exciting. There's just so much to see and experience running in the city.

These are the other covers I proposed to the club. I'm sure you can pick out the one that got turned into an interior page in the Annual Report (hint - #3). I'm really happy that I was able to incorporate elements from these into the chosen cover and the interior.

I was really excited about the image labeled #1. I had this really great idea to have the seasons (and outfits of the runners) changing with the seasons, but it wasn't chosen. I also was excited to get to draw so much nature, but I guess I'll have to wait for another event.

#2 I liked for it's simplicity. For those not in the club, it is a close-up of our team jersey. Really, it could be done with a photograph (OMG, an illustrator promoting a photographer!!), and I even mentioned this to the board deciding on the image. Everyone seems to really like the jersey/logo of the team and it makes us very easy to find in races. Seems like a good reason to have it as a cover... Simply iconic.

#3 and #4 where obviously used for the report. I've already talked about why I like them. Overall, I liked all the images I submitted to the club (if I didn't like one, why would I submit it as an option?).

I hope you're able to get a glimpse of my process from this. I know I occasionally get people asking me to share. I'm pulling together another post to share more of the process of anther one of my pieces. Stay tuned!