Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Tutorial of sorts

here's a landscape speedpaint I worked on a bit yesterday and the day before. It's inspired by the colors of Thomas Cole, one of the Hudson River School painters of American landscapes. (By inspired, I just mean looked at-- I didn't colorpick.) I also based it loosely on one of his paintings.

Still not done yet, but thought I'd post my progress in tutorial form. Hope you find it useful.

Anyway, composition still bothers me... I think it's a bit too choppy with too many similarly-sized shapes breaking up the space... Live and learn I guess.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pro job: Provantage buyer's guide cover

Here's a cover I illustrated for the Provantage Corporation, who sell all kinds of computer products (hardware, software, lots of accessories like cables, external data storage, etc...) to businesses and personal consumers.

The catalog is sent out bi-monthly to about 250,000 subscribers across the US.

This was an enjoyable job, especially because I got a lot of creative freedom (and also some good advice) from the art director.  I hear it's hard to get a lot of wiggle room and decision power in the more "commercial" jobs like advertising illustration.  He's the one who did the text and layout of this cover, so I can't take credit about that.

The prompt was initially about autumn, but it was then changed to "prepare for Windows 7" because the debut of the new OS will fall inside the September/October period, so they thought it would be good to acknowledge that and make it the theme.

My initial ideas for this had included a N. C. Wyeth-esque illustration of a sailor dressed up as a businessman looking out on a distant island with a spyglass.  I could then put the "7" in the sky or something, or it would be integrated into the landscape of the island, perhaps a 7-shaped mountain... I was also thinking of adapting my "circuit-city" illustrationto include a 7-sunrise.

An issue arising as a result of dealing with the sun was to make sure this looked like a sunrise (beginning) and NOT a sunset.  What separates sunrises from sunsets?  Recalling graphic design, I realized that any "morning" products predominantly use graphic rays in their logos and such.  Those "sunburst" lines seemed to be the primary thing separating the two, so I went with it.

As for color and overall look, the art director wanted it to be punchy.  We needed to grab people's eyes when they opened their mailboxes.  I initially wanted to go for a romanticized and realistically-rendered illustration, but thought that this graphic style would be better suited to the overall vibe of this image, trying to punch up the "heroic".    

Oh, and I also did a website banner, as part of the 2-month theme.  It won't be out until the buyer's guide ships, which will be in a couple of weeks.  Mark hasn't added the text yet.

Anyway, it was a good experience.  Hopefully I'll be able to work for them in the future.

The Second Revival

Wow... last update was March 9th?

I realized that when googling my name, this blog kept showing up at top, and I doubt the presence of a failed sketch-a-day challenge consisting of a few crappy sketches that are several months old is a good first impression!

My excuse this time is that the longer one waits, the more awkward it feels to break the ice with a new post.  A self-feeding cycle at it's best!

I haven't been absent from blogger though.  I've posted many of the things I did this summer on a group of CCAD illustration students called "Oondu".  (

I've also recently started a "sketchbook" at  Here's the thread:

I figure I have no excuse not to update my blog if I'm already updating my sketchbook.  After all, 90% of the work is scanning and resizing images, right?