After moving to California I was pretty sure I was finished with the New York, Illustrated, blog. But last month, halfway through an illustration job, my client cancelled it. I really wanted to finish it just to have it done for myself, but I knew that would be a waste of time. Instead, I put my creative energy towards my last New York, Illustrated, blog entry.
This is a musician I would regularly see at the Union Square train station. I guess he saved up all his money to spend on his crown, because his guitar was looking pretty janky. Acrylic and oil on illustration board.
This time I decided to be good and do a color study in Photoshop, just to get all of the color decisions out of the way before I began painting.
Here’s my final sketch on illustration board:
I painted the background areas in acrylic since I wanted them to be pretty flat. After that was dry I painted in the rest in oils.
A couple of months ago I made the mistake of submitting a painting that didn’t exist yet for an art show. And being the procrastinator I am, I stayed up until 2am finishing the painting in order to turn it in for the show the next day. I definitely had a few college/illustration academy flashbacks.
I decided to do this painting because I really, really wanted to paint the cupcakes. I think maybe I thought it would be almost as good as eating them. (Perhaps this could be a new form of diet/art therapy?) The rainbow sprinkles were fun for sure, but I really liked painting the cab too. Overall this painting did not turn out the way I wanted, but I am starting to realize I’ve been lazy and skipping important parts in the planning process that normally contribute to a successful illustration.
BTW, I love that the sign maker got coffee and chocolate right but still managed to misspell “or.”
Here’s my initial sketch. Instead of sketching in my sketchbook and then transferring the sketch to the acrylic paper (and ultimately growing bored with the illustration before I even start painting) I just sketched directly onto the acrylic paper.
I also tried something else new. I learned that Mark Teague does a burnt sienna underpainting, then paints in the shadows with gray and highlights with gesso. I decided to try this, and by the time I had finished this portion of it I was a little sick of painting.
So I put it off…until the night before I had to turn it in. I originally intended to paint the color portion with my brand new gouache paints, but since I was in a rush I decided to go with acrylic (I’ve never used gouache before). About halfway through the acrylics began to annoy me so I switched to trusty oils. Since oils take a long time to dry, I put my painting in a low-temperature oven to speed dry it. (A tip that saved my ass many times in college.)
Happy New Year. It’s been a while since my last post. Partly because I took a break during the holidays, and partly because this illustration took FOREVER. This is from the Santa Streak 2011 in Astoria Park, Queens. It’s an annual charity event that involves running, underwear, very cold weather, and a group of slightly crazy Astorians. And ridiculous amounts of alcohol.
I hate this painting. But I’m trying to let go of my perfectionism and am posting it anyway. I thought the subject matter was pretty hilarious and was motivated to start the painting, but my motivation quickly ran out after I sketched out my runners. I put so much time and detail into the sketches that by the time I had transferred the sketches to the acrylic paper, I was tired of working on it. I also think it’s fugly because the composition is boring, the background is too primitive, and the colors aren’t working together. Oh well, it is what it is. It’ll be a good reason to make the next one better.
Here are the 3 main runners I sketched in my sketchbook.
I tried to trace the sketches onto the acrylic paper, but the paper was a little too thick to see the detail clearly, and I ended up having to redraw much of it onto the acrylic paper.
This is the painting midway…I got lazy and waited until the end to paint in the rest of the background. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the background were simple, but the trees and shadows made it more complicated and should have been completed first.
In other news, check out my new Mac and desk! It was a very Merry Christmas indeed!
This guy grabbed my interest one day as I was walking down Broadway in the Village. I never noticed him before that day, but now I see him almost every day either chillin on the sidewalk or customizing t-shirts with a sharpie. The painting is 8″x10,” done in oils on acrylic paper. It’s my first time using acrylic paper which comes pre-cut in a pad. I’m lazy and hate to cut illustration board so was tempted to try it. It’s more porous than illustration board so the oil dried quicker (which I liked) but it buckled after I put an acrylic wash over the sketch. Oh, and the paper ripped when I peeled the artists tape off the edges. Meh.
Here are a few photos I took during the process. I started off with a sketch in my sketchbook.
Then I transferred my sketch to the acrylic paper and fixed it with an acrylic wash (thanks for the tip, Sterling!).
Then switched to oils. Wasn’t digging the way his pants were turning out…
…so I put him in jeans instead.
Welcome to my brand spankin’ new website and blog. This blog will contain paintings I create based on what I see in the city. This first painting is about 5″x6.25″ and was made in acrylics and oils. I don’t particularly know why I chose to paint it so small, but it presented some challenges when rendering facial details. This scene is from McDougal Street in the Village.
Here’s a little background on the project: I studied illustration in college with hopes of becoming a children’s book illustrator. But after I graduated in 2004, I realized that working as a freelance illustrator wasn’t going to be steady or lucrative enough to support myself and my husband, who was also in college full-time. So I started working full-time as a graphic designer, which was great because it was something I really enjoyed and paid the bills. But the downside was I really let illustration fall to the wayside. For like, 7 years. So I started this blog to force myself to create artwork. Since I’m not the type of person who always feels to need to create things and would much prefer to spend my downtime exploring the city with my husband, I needed a deadline-driven project to get me going.