Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Logo designs and exhibitions

3-7 Logo Designs

Above are several logos that I recently designed, just a few of the many created over the years. I really enjoy this type of assignment.

3-9 Krasl

Here are some of the designs that I developed while designing a logo for a local museum, the Krasl Art Center. Three final versions were submitted and the last one on the lower right was chosen. I added a figure to the presentation to show scale as I suggested the the logo could also be transformed into a large metal outdoor sculpture for the front of the building.

3-8 Krasl Logo

A newspaper clipping announcing the new logo. I built a model of the logo and created this photo to show just how the sculpture version would look in the outdoor setting, however, the sculpture idea was rejected by the Acquisitions Committee.

3-10 Krasl

The new logo was unveiled at the opening of the Text As Art exhibition. Above is one of the posters that I designed for the show.

4-1 posters

Other posters for various exhibitions of my digital art. The poster at the top was for an exhibition of parodies of famous artists, the image is my version of a Dali painting.

4-2 Kazoo

A poster done for am exhibition of my sculpture and digital prints at the Epic Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

4-7 Sakiko

The catalog cover for an exhibition of my acrylic abstract paintings and carved wooden masks at Gallery Sakiko in New York.

Some recent design and illustration projects

3-1 New Art

A drawing of downtown Fayetteville, NC done for City Center Gallery and Books and a book cover for a collection of civil war war letters. Both images were first drawn in ink then scanned into the computer where color was added using Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0

3-2 Salon drwg

This drawing was done on rice paper using a brush and pen with india ink. I enjoy experimenting with various paper surfaces to see what interesting effects can be created. The drawing was scanned into the computer, then color and the other elements were added.


The final version of the poster which was used in two sizes, 13 x 19" and 8.5 x 11".

3-4 WineLabels

Gloria and I went to a winery in Grand Rapids where she lives, we made our own wine and even bottled it. This was part of a French Club activity and it was a fun experience. Here are some of the labels that I designed for the bottles. For the one label I used Gloria's cats, Blackjack and Schicklefritz who really does have a black heart on his side. For the upper left label I used a painting that I did while living in Paris. The lower two were created by using permission-free old engravings from the Dover book "Antique Playing Card Designs".

3-5 Dancer

Here are two of my latest illustration experiments. On both, I first scanned line drawings into the computer where I then worked out the design and color. The computer is a terrific medium for experimentation as you can do several images of the same subject for evaluation. This would take a great deal of time when using traditional painting mediums.

3-6 Two Women

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What does an 80 year old illustrator do ?

For one thing, I've had over forty years of tough storyboard deadlines and I'm happy to leave this part of the ad biz to all of you younger artists ! In the last year that I did storyboards, every assignment was an overnighter. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed doing this type of work, it's just that the deadlines were getting to be impossible. Actually, I work very well under pressure and for me to throw in the towel, you know how ridiculous it was getting.
I know of many illustrators that just would not do storyboards because there are a lot of negatives connected to this type of work. There's not only the pressure, frequently you must work when you least feel like it, and that might even include working on Thanksgiving Day. Your work must also be very consistent, it's not acceptable to start out rendering a series of frames very detailed and tight, then end up working very loose on the last frames. This can be a real problem when facing a very tight deadline. Also, you NEVER miss a deadline or you are through with that client. On certain assignments you may be required to dig up a great deal of reference material which will take precious time away from rendering frames. When doing work for certain automotive accounts I would often rent the specific car model and then photograph all of the necessary reference material which the clients rarely supplied.
At times you may even wonder how the agency's client ever approved the idea, some scripts can be downright weird.
The positives are that this type of work pays very well. Often my work used to come in on the weekends, leaving me the whole week to paint and pursue my fine art interests.

This series of frames were done for Delphi, a client of McCann Erickson in Detroit. The art director was Wayne Graydon. He's an excellent AD and was always a pleasure to work with.

All of my renderings are done using markers on high quality layout paper. This is very important as on certain papers the markers will not blend well. I found the best paper to be Beinfang Graphics 360. I always flip the paper over, the markers work much better on the reverse side, try it, you'll be amazed at the difference. Incidentally, I prefer using Chartpak AD Markers for all of my renderings.

I know that some artists do storyboards on the computer. I've tried it a few times, but for me it just takes too long, I guess I just love those squeaky markers. As an artist, if you love doing watercolors like I do, rendering with markers would be a medium that you would be quite comfortable with.
The renderings below were done for an ad campaign for Y & R in New York, but I'm not sure of the client. I believe the art director was Michael Brennecke, another top notch AD that I did a lot of work for over the years.

2-10  Highway

2-8 Hwy

2-6 EuroTown

I enjoyed rendering these ads very much, it was a fun campaign. There were a least a dozen of these and I did them all about 15" x 15" in size. They were all delivered over the internet at 150 dpi. I had slow dial-up at the time and it took a LONG time for these to go through.

2-9 MtEverest BlankFlag

2-7 Andes

My advice to budding storyboard artists is to keep your renderings fresh and clean, don't overwork them as they will just get muddy. Try to develop a fast, loose style, and in between assignments, do a lot of watercolors !

Thanks for viewing my blog. I will most likely post at least two or three times a week, probably Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Next time I'll be showing you some of my most recent illustration work, some illustration experiments as well as a few new logos that I've designed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Welcome to my art and illustration blog !

I will show you many examples of my illustration work throughout the years, even sketches and preliminary drawings if they are available. My graphic design work may also be of interest to you as the work includes a variety of assignments such as automotive catalogs, logo designs and the design of an automotive magazine.

While working in an art studio I even managed to squeeze in teaching full time at the college level and was head of the Advertising Department at the school. I taught classes in graphic design, illustration and cartooning. One of my first successful ventures was doing a series paintings for Ford Times magazine which actually led to ad agency art directors giving me a lot of illustration assignments. I will post many examples from that era. For the last forty years I have specialized in doing storyboards and animatics, servicing major clients in the US and abroad.

Several years ago I became interested in digital art, it was quite by accident as I really had no intention of buying a computer. I used to ship all of my out of town assignments by package delivery services and one day a package arrived very late and another was actually lost ! My clients were furious and I had to redo a big storyboard project overnight. The agency said that if I wanted more work from them I would have to buy a computer so that I could deliver the finished work over the internet. I complied immediately and everything worked like a charm after that, no more late or lost packages. During some down time I began to experiment with computer art and was astonished at the possibilities that this medium offered, I've been hooked ever since. Ive created many limited edition prints which I exhibit in galleries and museums. Commercially I've done book illustrations and CD album covers which I will share with you. I am a sculptor as well and will display some of my pieces in later posts.

While living and working in Paris I wrote several "How to" books for Watson Guptill Publications and will post a few of the step-by-step demos for line drawings and color illustrations from the books. You'll also see illustrations and storyboard work that I did for French ad agencies. While in Paris, I had the opportunity to exhibit my paintings in all of the French painting salons, some of the paintings even ended up being used in magazine ads. I had a great time in France and even was sent to Madrid, Vienna, Singapore and Jakarta on special assignments. I have traveled extensively and will share some of the watercolors and ink sketches that I did on the spot as well as paintings that I did later in my studio. My most recent series of abstract acrylic paintings and figures studies will also be posted.
Thanks for viewing my blog and I hope that you will be a regular visitor.