Archive for the 'Other Artwork' Category

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It’s Magically Delicious!

Recently J&S Foods asked me to design a hot sauce label inspired by “Harry Potter.” As a fan of the Chosen One, I was definitely looking forward to this assignment. Like any fan, I’ve read the books, seen the movies, watched the DVD’s a countless number of times, and am eagerly anticipating the next flick and the opening of the Universal “Harry Potter” Theme Park in 2010. So it was a pleasure to get a chance to dive in and put my own twist on the Hogwart’s universe. Since it wasn’t going to be a direct take on the subject, I gave it the hot sauce twist. With that in mind, what else do you call a boy who gets his magical power of flight by ingesting hot sauce and farting fire…what else than “Harry Pooter” of course. Again, like the “Obama” Hot Sauce label I designed, I decided to do it in a cartoony style so that the label would be a bit more fun than if I had tried to do it more realistic. I started with a pencil drawing that I scanned, cleaned up, and colored in the computer.

After coloring him I placed him in his natural environment, zipping amongst the clouds high above Hogfarts…the institute for gaseous studies and emissions…or something like that.

Now the illustration above is great and all, but a label it is not…yet. What makes it a label, is the labeling…so I proceeded to add…labeling. After a bit of info here and a tad bitt more there, faster than you can say the magic word “SuperSonicIdioticBrainDefectedDisconnectedOoweyDeweyDaffyDeweyDumbbell,” the hot sauce label was finished!

So with this project completed, now all I can do is sit back and wait for the next movie or hope that J.K. Rowlings comes to her senses and writes another book. You know you want to J.K…oh yes…you want to!

Inauguration Day

So in honor of Inauguration Day, I thought what better time to post the artwork that I’m posting today.  Right after the election J&S Foods asked me to draw an “Obama” Hot Sauce label for them. Their request, “we want Obama riding a Donkey dressed as Uncle Sam with a map of the United States in the background.” So with that in mind I went to work and did just that. I decided to draw Obama a bit cartoony instead of realistic, so that it was different then the previous hot sauce label designs I had done for them. I mean hell…if you got a man riding on the back of a donkey dressed as Uncle Sam, might as well make it cartoony, right? Also, I wanted it to be more of a caricature of Obama rather than a portrait of him.

Below are both my initial rough concept sketch that I did as well as the pencil drawing that I did for the hot sauce label. As you can see in my pencil drawing, I followed my sketch pretty closely. I don’t always work this way with my hot sauce label designs, usually I will just go right into the computer and start composing the design there. However, because I decided to go with a caricature, I wanted to draw it out first to make sure I got it exactly the way that I wanted it before taking it into the computer.

From here I composed the rest of the design in the computer and colored the pencil drawing as it was drawn. In the background is the electoral map of the United States, colored as per which states voted for which candidate.

Above is the original version of the “Obama” Hot Sauce label that I did. After the client reviewed it they decided that they wanted to move the donkey’s hat and place it on Obama’s head. So after some tweaking and alterations, I came up with the design below which J&S Foods approved and accepted.

So there you go, the Hot Sauce changing taste buds one drop at a time.

Norb & Doris Wedding Portrait

One of the things that I really enjoy doing but have not done that many of are Wedding Portraits. I’ve drawn a few for various friends and family members over the last couple of years, but I tend to shy away from tackling them because they do require a bit more time to accomplish. Not that I don’t enjoy the challenge, I do, it’s just that you need to have the time to set aside to devote solely to the creation of the piece. The challenge comes from capturing the couples likeness, if you fail to do this, the portrait obviously ceases to be a portrait at that point.

Last year I finally decided to give my parents the treatment, having never drawn them before I thought that it was high time that I did so. After having completed that drawing the plan was already set in motion for me to pick up pencil once again and take on the task of doing one for my In-Laws. So this Christmas I found myself doing just that. However, unlike all of the previous drawings that I had done for others in which I had very specific photographic references to follow, I didn’t necessarily have this with my In-Law’s portrait. My wife’s parents didn’t have many photos from their wedding day that I could use to compose the piece, and the ones that they did have were a bit blurry. What I ended up having to do was I had to cannibalize other photos of them from around the same time period, alter their appearance (i.e. hair styles, glasses, their clothing) to match as closely to their look in their wedding photos. When working on portraits I like to work with photos that are as crisp and clean as possible, the more you tend to change and alter photos, the less likely you are to capture their true likeness. So on this piece, I had two mountains to climb: blurry photos and pics I had to alter significantly. Even though I was nervous to begin this portrait, and believe me…my nerves did force me to delay beginning it several times (hell…it was for my In-Laws) the time crunch of having to get the drawing done before Christmas propelled my forward to tackle it and drove me on through til it’s completion. Below is the fruits of my labor.

Below are Close-up photos of the final portrait for you to see the detail, Click on them to Enlarge the images.

So I will admit that it really was down to the wire with this one. I finished the last of the flower and leaf renderings on Christmas Eve and ended up matting and framing the artwork in the early AM the following morning. My wife and I saved the portrait as the last present that they opened on Christmas morning. They seemed pretty surprised when they tore into the gift wrapping and were confronted with the final drawing. I hope they enjoy the piece as much as I did drawing it.

And here is the final portrait framed and matted with a blue matte. Just in case you were wondering, that is me reflected in the glass of the picture frame.

Finally, throughout the process of drawing my In-Laws I took photos of it at various stages of completion. I thought that it’d be fun to show you the process I go through when I drew the piece. So here is a Video Progression of the Portrait from start to finish. Some of the photos of the drawings did not line up perfectly and I promise that if I proceed to do these type of videos in the future, I’ll work on fixing that. Click on the video below and Enjoy!

Wedding Portrait-Norb & Doris (VIDEO PROGRESSION)

Kaitlin’s Christmas Present

Another one of the Christmas presents that I did this year was a drawing for my niece Kaitlin. Like Megan’s drawing I talked about in the previous post, I also did it in my “Artzee Fartzee” style. Unlike Megan’s however, I did not have to do several sketches to try and capture her likeness because I had done so previousily about a couple years ago for a separate drawing and fortunately for me…it still had all of Kaitlin’s flavor. I of course updated the design a bit, since she had aged a couple of years since I last doodled her. But for the most part, her design remained intact from the original. The thumbnail process on this drawing was not much of a process at all…I only did one…the one posted below. As you can see from the two images, both the Concept Sketch and the Final Piece are pretty much identical. There are some very minor differences, such as instead of holding the Doodlebug it’s now wrapped around one of her fingers, but other than that it is what it is.

My niece Kaitlin is completely in love with all things bug and bug-like. She never met a Doodlebug (“Rollie Pollie” to some) that she did not like. I swear, if she could spin herself a cocoon and then emerge a couple days later with a big bright pair of colorful butterfly wings, I think she would. It would make shopping for clothes difficult but I think she’d be up for the challenge.

Besides Kaitlin, also featured in the drawing is our pet Hermit Crab named Monster. My wife got him from a friend of her’s one summer a few years back after their trip to Destin, Florida. We just assume it’s a “he,” because if it were a “she” we’d have to rename it to something more appropriate like “Ladybug” or “Flower” or “Bananarama” or something like that…and I’ve grown found of the name “Monster.”

She was definitely happy to get the final drawing. The only thing better would have been if my wife and I told she could have Monster…since that’s not going to happen, she’ll have to make due with a drawing of him and her instead.

I hope you enjoy it Kaitlin.

Megan’s Christmas Present

As a Christmas Gift this year, I finally drew my niece Megan a drawing of herself in my “Artzee Fartzee” style. I’ve meant to for some time, but never really found the time to do so..until now. Since she had been salivating for what in her mind must have felt like eons for me to Doodle her, Sketch her, and Draw her on up, I knew I had to do her justice. So with pad in hand and my trusty mechanical pencil, I began to work out the drawing. While sitting in front of the TV watching one of many 007 flicks over the Holiday break with my Father-In-Law…I etched out a concept sketch for the piece. I usually start off by first trying to capture the individual’s likeness as best I can…my cartoon style can have it’s limitations but in Megan’s case, I think I succeeded…especially with her personality. And the drawing oozes with her personality. So with her likeness captured, I move directly into thumbnails. I don’t tend to do as many thumbnail sketches as I use to, now I tend to do a couple at most and pretty much leave it at that. With Megan, I only did two and really only explored the one Posted below. My thumbnails are usually quite small and tight, I like to work out the flow of things that way and then translate that almost verbatim into the final drawing…which is what I did in this case.  There are slight variations, but what was mapped out in the concept sketch is for the most part represented in the completed drawing.

I had planned to add color to the drawing, a few accent reds and grays in her clothing and skulls and such, but in the end I felt like the pencil stood on it’s own. I may go back and color it in the computer later for my own personal use. I also threw in a word bubble with a completely random phrase, ’cause my niece…if anything, is completely random.

Just thought I’d toss up here a couple of pics I took of her opening the gift. By the way, I know she dug it, ’cause immediately after opening it, she magically produced her cell out of thin air like she was Criss Angel and began pounding away at the key pad texting her friends about it. I guess I could call the gift a success.

I hope you enjoy it Megan.

I Looooove Sushi!

There are only a few things in this world that I love more than the sweet, sweet deliciousness of Sushi. Of course I love my Wife…and I love Movies and TV…that’s just understood…but nothing beats the flavor that excites my taste buds more than those little Japanese treats. Some people may say I have a problem, those that own the restaurants I frequent might say I’m just stimulating the economy. Who’s to say who is right…but either way that you look at it…I Love Sushi!

When I was in college, my addiction got so bad that a friend and I were scheduling classes around our Friday Sushi Sessions. We’d make sure that our noon time slot was open for our weekly fix. Some might say that’s sad…others, like myself, might say that’s devotion.

Hey, everyone’s got dreams, don’t they…mine just so happen to be about the world’s largest piece of Sushi. If you’re gonna dream, might as well dream big…right?

Happy Halloween

‘Tis the season to be HAPPY, HALLO, and WEENIE!

I’m a big fan of Halloween, all-be-it second place to how I feel about the Christmas season, so I didn’t want the day to come and pass without me making a little noise about it.  I figured I could SCARE up something to say and show you good folks.  So with the holiday merely LURKING around the corner, I took out pencil and paper and sketched up a drawing for you.  It’s definitely in homage to the season, or merely because I popped in the DVD of “The Lost Boys” last night and watched it while I drew.  I guess we’ll never truly know, like the chicken and the egg…which one did come first?  Anyway, in the nature of the time honored tradition of Trick or Treating…consider the NEW drawing below my treat to you.  No, it’s not Giant Sized Snickers Bars or candy bowls left unattended, no indeed not, but it is a treat none-the-less.

Here’s another “Artzee Fartzee” drawing I just finished of Troy on the defensive against being stalked by a creature of the night.

I also thru in the “Vampire Attack” drawing I did a couple of weeks ago, thought that they definitely complimented each other, maybe sort of like bookends, or better yet like Chocolate and Peanut Butter…ahhhh, Reese’s.

Well, there you have it Guys and Ghouls.  Enjoy the drawings, enjoy the season, but most importantly…Happy Hunting!

M*A*S*H 60th Surprise Birthday Party

When my Mother-In-Law, Doris, asked me to help with my Father-In-Law’s Surprise 60th Birthday Party…my first thought was, “Oh No, she’s going to ask me to bake a cake!” Not that I really bake, but for a split second, that thought did cross my mind.  When I finally came to my senses, and cleared the frosting from my ears, I realized that she had instead put me in charge of the party invites.  Of course this made more sense, since I’m a Graphic Illustrator and NOT Betty Crocker.  So, with no overall theme for the shindig at that point, my wife Melissa and her sister Rachel quickly started churning their mental wheels to kick up an idea.  With their combined Wikipedia brains, it did not take long.

Their Dad, Norb, is a hugh fan of M*A*S*H and all that the 4077th has to offer…so it was settled that the theme of the party would be just that.

During our evacuation from Hurricane Gustav, Melissa and I were staying with her parents in Missouri.  Since I had my Mac and all of it’s acutriments, I started seeking out some of my Father-In-Law’s Military papers and such and began scanning like crazy just to make sure I had everything that I could possibly need.  I scanned in HIS photos, HIS re-enlistment papers, HIS pencil and paperclips from HIS desk, textures made from crumbled paper from HIS office…and so forth.  Then the work began.

The concept was to incorporate the M*A*S*H theme with a TOP SECRET dossier file.  So the invite would be paperwork inserted into a miniature manila folder and then placed into the envelope for mailing.

Above is the INVITATION: FRONT, BACK, & NOTE CARD (it was inserted in to several of the Invites but not all).

This is the MINIATURE MANILA FOLDER I cut out of a real Manila Folder and printed the 4077th TOP SECRET logo on and put a sticker on the folder tabs with my Father-in-Law’s name.

Above is the ENVELOPE I designed using the same logo as on the Manila Folder.

I also wanted to use the same theme for his BIRTHDAY CARD that my Wife and I gave him.  So I used the same design pieces and concept of placing the card into a Miniature Manila Folder and came up with the card below.


Finally, I also made a T-SHIRT design from the elements to give to him.

Above is the FRONT & SLEEVE design of the T-SHIRT.

The whole design theme went over really well, everyone loved it…but most importantly, my Father-In-Law loved it and wore the T-SHIRT with pride.  I’m glad I could contribute to making his 60th Birthday a unforgettable and memorable event.