Friday, January 20, 2006

Will The Thrill

Way back in the 80's when I was plodding along making a meager living as an illustrator I used to work in a satisfying but torturous technique that involved airbrush and colored pencil. HATED cutting friskets. Now thanks to my good friends Photoshop and Illustrator, my airbrush is retired, my compressor long gone. I still have lots of Xacto knives but since I don't need to cut any more friskets with them I'm less inclined to have the urge to slit my wrists with them. Good times. Good times.
But I did like the result of my illustrative labors in those days, so I thought I'd give the Sidekicks a rest for a while and unearth a few older pieces for your viewing pleasure (both of you) As MAD magazine used to say, Suitable for framing - or wrapping fish!
I'm a hopeless baseball fan, and I've been keeping a painted sketchbook going on and off for years now of just baseball faces. It mostly started with this piece, Will "The Thrill" Clark, which was comissioned by the awesome illustrator/entrepeneur Murray Tinkelman for his traveling exhibit of illstrations "The Art of the Baseball Card". I was honored to be invited to participate in the show, to hang on the wall with such great illustrators as (to name just a couple) Chris Payne, Bernie Fuchs, Bob Dacey, and Murray himself.
This was from a Topps card from 1989, the year the Giants went to the World Series (the Earthquake Series - they were swept by the A's. Bummer.) I think this is from a scanned slide, so the quality is a bit flaky. I'm including a scan of the pencil drawing on tracing paper that was projected via good old Lucigraph onto the preparred illustration board surface. I'd spray fix the charcoal underdrawing, then cut friskets and do the airbrush underpainting (also creating a nice tooth for the colored pencil to follow) then blend in billions of tiny sharp strokes of colored pencil till finished. Usually I'd pop some highlights on with acrylic or goache at the very end.
I'll post a few of my baseball heads sketchbook paintings next.

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