Friday, November 28, 2008
Catalog season was a real challenge
The car catalog season was an extremely busy time for artists in Detroit. Our freelance group was hard at work on Chevrolet art when another catalog assignment popped up. Jack Mills and I were asked to do all of the illustrations for the 1962 Mercury Comet catalog, the ad agency was Kenyon & Eckhardt and I believe that the art director was Lowell Jackson. We were doing art for two catalogs which wasn't unusual, as many artists would often work for competing clients or ad agencies at the same time.
On this illustration I hired a model to photograph the foreground gal and used my kids and Bob Witmer, our rep, for the other figures.
I had to search for reference on this scene, fortunately I lived near a couple of marinas. After composing the scene and doing a small color sketch I would do a pencil drawing and then block in the background with paint to establish color values and lighting, then Jack would render the car. When he was pretty much finished, I would continue working on the background, adding details and modifying color, until I was done, then he would add the final touches to the car.
A close up of the illustration to show you the details. Another hired model was used for this illustration.
Not all the illustrations required a full background. I rounded up some neighborhood girls to pose for me on this one. Like many illustrators, I used a Poloroid camera for most of the figure shots because you got an instant photo, no need for film development or a darkroom, a real time saver. Also you could immediately see if the pose was right or if you needed to take more shots. All these illustrations were rendered on Whatman cold-pressed illustration board with Windsor and Newton Designer's Colors. When we finished the illustration, our rep would take it over to the agency for the art director's and the automotive engineer's approval. More Comet illustrations on the next post.