It never occurred to me how much enthusiasm I get for making illustrations where I’m allowed full creative freedom. Freedom, Cookies, and even better yet, some historical American figures. It’s incredibly humbling this year that I’ve been creating more traditional, even painterly works. It’s been time to make up for lost time. It’s the time to play a little catch-up to my mentors, whom I also consider peers. This isn’t to be mistaken for competition. Each one of us knows who has the chops. Slowly but surely. there’s been a transitioning period here where, in the hopeful future, I’ll be known for traditional paintings in a digital world.
I spent some time with family to truly become involved and grow the one feeling I always thought one needs to be a creator of culture – empathy. For the Father’s Day drawing I decided to use my Uncle Danny as a photo reference because he’s an all around American looking dad. It also helps that he’s been a Firefighter his whole life and works for the state of NH. He lives in Manchester, NH, which is where I was born 27 years ago. Uncle Danny and I are pretty close. Sometimes we drink whiskey together. On a side note, that glass of Milk in his hand…it was originally whiskey!
The American Flag Cookie painting was finished on masonite with acrylic and I had a friend take a high resolution picture so I could get a big .TIFF file. I could edit it all in Photoshop but it’s still %100 acrylic.
Lastly, I’ll say I had the most fun painting the portrait ‘s of Martin luther King and Malcom-X using an extremely limited Palette including 4 colors including some white. I’ve been trying to push how I can add some abstraction and let natural fluid mark-making still be retained through the surface of the painting, or in this case – my sketchbook page. Colors used:
Pthalo Blue (green shade) / Van Dyke Brown / Quinochridone Red / Quinochridone Orange / Titanium White
It’s important for me to keep a limited palette for traditional paintings because you want to act under an imaginary timeline. Save time by simplifying the colors and, think about using the colors as visual language to address a more conceptual approach.
Here, I kept a color scheme of red and green tones of color (earth tones), which are most easily digested by older folks or young adults. More commonly put, earth tones are more susceptible to adults because of age, and maturity. Malcom-X was the more radical of these two so I decided to use the Phalo Blue and Van Dyke brown to create murky greens. I’m pleased with the results. Secondly I used the combinations of Quino-Ornge & Red for Martin Luther King to focus on the danger he was bringing upon himself, and ultimately his demise in assassination. Both historical figures actually held similar views and weren’t enemies. They were friends sharing a duality, with two different paths arriving at that duality.
As always, Enjoy,