Monday, April 14, 2008

Recent Work: Dreamer At Work

For book jacket portfolio pieces, I often work backwards. I will start with an image, then make up a title to go with it. This image was montaged with elements from my archives. I think I had recently been looking at Joseph Cornell. I like the image, though it was a bit of a challenge to figure out how to center it. I was trying not to get too flowery with the type, but I am still undecided about it.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Recent Work: “Smoke” Book Jacket Finish

The art director, editor, and author all liked sketch A (minus the border), with the cat looking out over the landscape (see previous Smoke sketches entry of March 17). As luck would have it, the description of the cat in the book perfectly matched my cat, Smithers, so I had my model (of course, this has completely gone to his head, and he is absolutely impossible now).

The first step in creating the finished art was to make the background. I created this in Photoshop by blending some personal landscape photos and adjusting the color. Next, I made the fence with strips of balsa wood, “weathered” with acrylic paint. I then set up a small still-life in my homemade lighting box of the fence against a printout of the background, and photographed the scene. I try to do as much as I can of the piece before I get to Photoshop, so the scene looks as natural as possible. The silhouetted Smithers, texture layers, and colors were then added in Photoshop.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Recent Work: Five Million Lives

This assignment was for Nursing Management Magazine’s feature on the Institute For Healthcare Improvement's Five Million Lives Campaign, an ambitious effort to save five million hospital patient lives over a two-year period through improved health-care practices. The illustration was to focus on the daunting scope of this challenge, rather than on any particular medical practices. Here are the sketches I submitted, and the finish. It is often a bit of a struggle for me to brighten my palette for these “upbeat” pieces, and this is something I am really trying to work on lately. I feel pretty good about this one. Art Director: Michael Trinsey.