Friday, October 29, 2010

Product Illustration

It took me quite a while to come up with something to illustrate for this project. I wanted to do something familiar and iconic, but Coke bottles have been done before! I decided Listerine was a good choice because it's blue and shiny and recognizable.

I was kind of scared to do a gouache pick out illustration because I'd never successfully done one before - my gouache was too cheap - so I started two Listerine illustrations: one on illustration board with the gouache, and one on watercolor paper, still with gouache, but used like watercolors. I worked on both until the watercolor one won out. Here it is.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Midterm Portfolio

Choosing my best and worst pieces was harder than I thought it would be! I had too many bad ones to choose from and not enough that I'm satisfied with, so I thought about my goals for this class and picked these two. We've been focusing a lot on watercolors, which I really like (as opposed to, say, the pen tablet), and I think I've been getting a little better! Take a look:

My worst piece: a 5x7" watercolor of the Disney Concert Hall in LA. Not only did I lose control of the watercolors, I might have insulted Frank Gehry. This stands out to me as one of my worst watercolors because it has no definition of form, the colors are bland and straight from the palette (and I used black - I never use black!), the water seems to have escaped any boundaries I might have thought of, and there isn't a lot of contrast. The only (slightly) redeeming thing is the lower right hand corner where I managed to define part of the form with white and shadow washes - but the shadows are too dark, not varied, and nowhere near the correct shape. And where I might have been able to rescue another bad watercolor with some line art, here this one fails too: the colors are just too boring.

I picked this as my best work not because I think it's perfect, but because I think it represents my improvement. A more traditional, painterly watercolor might have been a more obvious choice for my midterm, but this piece proves that I've been branching out. The subject is a street in the Chelsea Art District in NYC; I illustrated it because I was intrigued by the proportions of some of the windows and grate things on the building. I used muted colors on cream paper, and maybe my color choice combined with the horizontal composition makes everything seem too quiet, but I like it that way. I love to play with watercolor's ability to fill in a space with really subtle color and saturation variations, and sometimes I feel like the medium should be shown off. One of my favorite bits is the bottom edge where the brush started to go dry - I physically had to pull my own hand back to stop myself from "correcting" it. I consider this an achievement. I also think the colors that make up the street are blended well (or at least interestingly). I'm not entirely happy with the trees (they look kind of noodly), and I wish I'd thought to make the top edge straighter, but I like the proportions and interaction between the negative (paper) and positive (painted) space. For me, this captures a feeling - of being in Chelsea and being inspired by contemporary art - and that's what illustration is all about!

Red Barn

This is kind of unsatisfying...I'm finished with the assignment, but the brochure is so empty! If I had had time, I would have at least put a title on the front panel. My illustrations are looser than normal, I think, but I'm pretty satisfied with them. Maybe I should have done them a little bigger so they'd shrink down and look more realistic...or maybe not. I can't decide.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


This is the marker comp for the Ryle Hall Cafeteria mural. My original idea was to have lots of silhouettes interacting on top of a purple splattery background, but I decided that was cheesy and I wouldn't want to look at it if I were eating in the cafeteria. Instead, I went with an interior design kind of approach and used a map of campus and some trees to add a texture/pattern to the wall. It's in yellow to match the decor in the cafeteria, but the colors could be changed.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Red Barn Marker Comp

I finally got things planned out for my Red Barn pamphlet! There are a few things I'm going to change, of course...

Someone suggested incorporating some red in the bottom.

And I'm going to scoot that guy over so we see less of his back.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Negative Space

Two more 8x10 watercolors, both from cell phone pictures I took on Cherokee Street.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I'm kind of ashamed to post this one, but I will anyway. I was trying to be loose and expressive, but I think I should have done about ten of them and then picked the best. This one was like the first pancake of the batch....all rubbery and underdone. Or burnt, it depends. In any case, Monica is a rugby tackling beast.

Monday, October 4, 2010

8x10 Watercolors

I painted these at midnight last night, and I decided I wasn't going to spend a lot of time on them. So I didn't, but I kind of like how they turned out!

Chelsea art galleries

My brothers, Sam and Gabe.