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The other day I had the pleasure of spending my time at the Medieval Times in Atlanta. It was time for the newest show, which I am told only happens every four years or so. I was invited in to paint during the VIP reception. Katrina was my contact at Medieval Times and found me a great Medieval jacket and vest to go along perfectly with my yellow glasses and red paisley bow tie. I arrived, set up and three hours later a masterpiece was born!
It was made known to me during the reception that the story I was telling with the painting happened to coincide with the theme of the new show where a horse opens the evening in a routine galloping naked around the arena. I guess that just goes to prove that when I do it, I do it right.
By now you know about the collaboration between Sunflowerman and The Urban Animal Scientist. The beautiful and ethereal watercolor illustrations and the amazing quality of the hand crafted collars are perfect compliments in the commercial field. The collaboration has led to the contemporary dog-portrait illustration that now graces the home of the The Urban Animal Scientist (see here). The Urban Animal Scientists' brother Bryant has rolled into town and is continuing the collaborative process.
Initially the request to paint a cow from a man who was educated in economics seemed so abstract and quite frankly, odd. Perhaps a bull or a bear would have been more appropriate. What I didn't know at the time is having received his undergrad from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts Bryant has a deep appreciation for the arts and for purple cows.
Having the experience of the large dog painting under my belt I got right to work. What I thought would be as simple as a quick sketch turned itself over to 5 quick sketches. As you are witness of the images below, the first two images are quite deplorable. As I developed the idea further the perspective, color and brush strokes set themselves in place.
The process was beautiful. With the idea worked out and the excitement of the project still fresh from the three days before, I got right to work and within two hours the painting was complete.
Afterwards we saw it fit to do a little photoshoot with the painting.
And here's the final 3x5' painting of the Williams College Purple Cow.
I was contacted by the wonderful people at D2G Apparel to do some illustrations based on the Paris Fashion week that ended on the 4th of this past month. While I have been focusing on mens' fashion lately I thought that it might be a nice diversion from the normal. Also, women are just much more fun to draw. The week was full of amazing projects and designs. The first day kicked off with the always lovely Versace, but what really peaked my interest was the work of Giambattista Valli. There was a yearning for nature and beauty together that conjugated in the floral arrangements adorned by the women of the runway. Flowers and butterflies and floral prints were all a rather literal interpretation, but powerful nonetheless.
I identified several aspects from the Valli line that would work there way into my interpretive illustration.
-nature -light reds and greens -floral print -controlled hair, pulled back and tight
Included below are the final illustration and the process of the painting.
Look to D2G Apparel in the next several weeks to where this image on a shirt.
Since the very last post prior to this one is about the original illustration I will not go on for long. This is the sixth GQ cover in the series so far (the rest found here). I might say I am actually getting quite good at this. So step down this way and take a look at the newest edition of the illustrated GQ with D.R.E.S. ThaBeatnik.
I was walking through Starbucks to see a friend. As I was walking this gentleman caught my eye. He was dressed very well and had this character about himself that was quite attractive. After grabbing my coffee I walked over to where he was seated and asked if I could use him as a part of my fashion portrait series. His name is Dres D-R-E-S (dr-ah-s). Can't lie, I struggled pronouncing Dres correctly.
It turns out that he is a local Atlanta musician, perhaps even a local celebrity. He handed me a copy of his recent album, I snapped a pic on my phone and we parted ways.
This is what came of that interaction. Also, check out his myspace and enjoy the mix.
Mike McLaughlin is a good friend of mine. We graduated high school together and I saw him evolve in a way. I can't say that I have ever dressed 'better' than Mr. McLaughlin- No, he has always been at least one step ahead as far as fashion is concerned- but I did get to see a bit of a transformation. After High School Mike began to see this dapper man emerging, not a different person but a different image. It was a more polished image, stylish one might say. Whereas before he was simply aware of his presence he was now taking command of it. This is something that will take him far when he is touring the world and orchestrating symphonies.
Mike is a good friend and well dressed fellow.
George is not an Atlanta native, but he is an Atlanta man. One thing that always strikes me about George is his sense of style, especially in regards to attending the Atlanta night-scene's dance clubs. Another thing about George is his keen entrepreneurial eye. He's got a knack for flipping shoes and perhaps a few other things that I might not want to share here.
Without further ado, George Kamau on the cover of GQ!!
If you missed it before I have linked here the first time we met George here on the blog.
Got another! This one is great and innovative, that is, if it were actually a real GQ cover. There is an obvious lack of art in the GQ universe. Why wouldn't art be considered innately masculine? and therefore be included in a purportedly masculine magazine such as GQ. Here is my contribution to the cultural masculinity of magazines like GQ.
Brandon Sadler is the focus of an early fashion portrait and is linked here for those who have not been with us for long.
I picked up my copy… did you?
Shawn Cuni is one of the coolest people you could ever know. I had the pleasure of being his roommate for a while and respect him as a person and a creative. Few people are as neat and organized, and few people have his potential.Check out his instagram @psjc and the website on flickr Shawn Cuni
All of that said his street fashion is what we are focusing on today. You might think 'hipster' upon meeting him- at least that is what comes to my mind- then you find out his love for PBR and Radiohead and you know that's probably a good assessment. During a night of chilling on the porch I snapped a few photos and brought them home to paint.
I started this painting by pasting pages from an old book onto hardboard with matte medium. Then I proceeded to sketch out the basic forms with a colored pencil. After that I go over the lines with waterproof india-ink. After that dries I pool in washes of watercolor and add highlights with white acrylic paint. Finally I add shadows and washes of other colors to bring out the form and it's complete!
Last night I got to team up with The Urban Animal Scientist again! It is always a pleasure to be in such a creative space. He had an idea, I had a image and we brought them together with seamless ingenuity. Below is the product of the collaboration. Check it out and enjoy!
You may remember seeing something similar a while back. Check out the link here to refresh the memory
When little dinos go out at night and recall scary stories in bright fire-light
they shiver and stir and move in toward the heat
to warm their spirits and their feet.
They remember the ghouls that cause a fright
and giant baby worms that like to bite
but forget to watch out for things that are shiny
because in the distance they look so so tiny.
The painting turned out great! The process is basically the same as the past few paintings. I start with an underdrawing then move to acrylic, india ink and watercolor. Variously throughout I use any of the mediums to make one part pop or to turn something down. You can see below how things change throughout the painting process.
For some time now I have wanted to get into 'real world' fashion illustration. Simply put I want to get paid to do what I do. A friend suggested that I might benefit from doing some mock covers for magazines that I am interested in illustrating for. The images below show what came out of that discussion. I hope you enjoy, and stay tuned for more to come.
I had some pages that fell out of a book I was reading and decided to have some fun with them instead of tossing them. It's one of the few times that saving useless junk came in handy. These pages can no longer be lumped in the same useless category as the slabs of dried acrylic paint in my drawer, or the oddly shaped scraps of paper cut from old projects, or the plastic scraps from the used, dried masking fluid. No, these pages have been redeemed! And special thanks again to the Dapper Lou. I was perusing the site again and found endless inspiration for sketching.