Friday, December 26, 2008
Line illustrations for Abex
An Abex ad campaign done for C.F. McLaughlin Company. When I worked at Campbell Ewald as the head art director of the Chevrolet Sales Promotion Department, I worked with writer Chuck McLaughlin who was the Creative Director of our group. In 1970 Chuck started his own ad agency, Tom Clarke, who was in my department at CE, was hired as his art director and commissioned me to do this art for the Abex ad.
Ink line art doesn't necessarily have to be tight and rigid. Here are some close up images of the art which show they were rendered rather freely.
Here you can see just how loosely the ink lines are sketched in using a Crowquill pen.
The basic drawing must be very accurate or this technique would not work well.
This is a much more interesting way to work than doing a very tight rendering. When the drawings are reduced for print they reproduce very well.
To me, it seems to add some life to an ink line drawing when it is rendered in a free, loose manner. It gives the work a softer, almost painterly feel.
Treating mechanical subjects in a loose manner is not quite as easily done as it may look. It's really a fine balance between accuracy and confidence which comes from years of experience.
Another series of ads for Abex, this time the art was done using ink washes. The solid blacks were done with India ink while water soluble ink was used to paint the gray tones and washes in the sky which create the interesting cloud effect.