Still here still life.

JULY 17, 2021

Always seeking to challenge myself, I've been participating in an Instagram account that posts photographs of still life compositions and challenges people to create their own version of the original. Thousands of artists from around the globe post their interpretations and it is exhilarating to view the scene from so many different points of view. My struggle is to resist the urge towards realism that drives me to a "photographic" representation and see how far I can take it into my own world of shapes and colors. Sometimes I get close to this, sometimes not so much. In this case, @stillherestilllife 60, a rather complicated scene resulted in, at least, a smidgeon of experimentation rather than the dreaded "tracing a photograph".

left: the original photo. right: white pencil on black paper assisted by the classic grid technique.
left: rough sketch reworked in white gel pen. right: vector line work done in Adobe Illustrator.
left: illustrator layer that will end up being the colors of the linework when overlayed by right: the fill in colors that are all individual “islands” on a transparent background.
Previous more or less successful attempts at remaining true to my vision without going too far over the edge.
Always a learning experience that encourages digging deeper into the possibilities of the tools.

The way I see it.

JUNE 2, 2021
The sketchbook and attendant tools.

The way I see it, there are three parts to every assignment. Working backwards from finished art: the final piece, which you try to love but, can't help finding all the stuff you wish you'd done differently. The sheer exhilaration/exquisite torture of surrendering your soul to Illustrator during its creation, and the logical process from sketch to finish which you never could have even imagined at the outset.


As this was my fifth opportunity to do a "Largest Money Managers" cover for Pensions & Investments, there's the added incentive to find a unique point of view. Always grateful to art director Gregg Runberg who has the patience and trust to deal with my unintelligible sketches and and distracting wisecracks.  

Previous covers.
Has he still got it or what?
The evolution of tight sketches. I only showed the one on the right. Although I had completed the lettering on the left, it didn't work so, fortunately, I had the presence of mind to redo it.
How many ways can you show a bank facade and still get typography big enough for a cover headline?
Drawing letterforms from the inside out rather than from contours.