Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Posted here are a couple new illustrations I just created... wherein I'm working out a bit of a slightly different technique..

Recently I've been noodling around with a new picture book story, about a tiny elephant named Elliot. And since I was at a point with the writing where I was stuck, I stepped away from the story for awhile and used the time to create these couple test illustrations -to help better define the characters from the story in my mind, and also ended up toying around with a new technique at the same time. 

Normally I create most of my illustrations by drawing and painting the various elements traditionally on paper -then scanning them all into Photoshop where I compose the various elements in tiered layers to make the final look of the illustration, including adding digital color. 

But with these two test "Elliot" illustrations posted below I drew the characters directly in Adobe Illustrator on a Wacom tablet using a variety of there "charcoal" drawing tools .. then brought those Adobe Illustrator drawings into Photoshop where I added in scanned painted gouache textures to help make the look of some of the elements in the final illustration, plus painted color digitally, too. (for example the background trees in the top illustration).

illustration for ELLIOT... visit stevensalerno.com

illustration for ELLIOT... visit stevensalerno.com
 ...

Visit my illustration web site to view my portfolios, see my picture books for kids, client list, etc...

golfing legend Ben Hogan in 1953 at Carnoustie

drawing by Steven Salerno of Ben Hogan winning the '53 Open Championship  visit stevensalerno.com
above
Aside from my illustration work for magazines, advertising and picture books for kids, -because of my personal interest in the great game of golf, additionally I also create golf related art and graphics. ...Above is my recent drawing I created of one of my golf legends heroes, Ben Hogan, the American superstar from the 1940's and 1950's. It depicts Hogan in 1953 playing at the Open Championship (that's the "British Open" for you non-golfers) at the Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland...  Of course, I referred to a specific b&w photo from the actual event. I created this original drawing in Adobe Illustrator, then brought it into Photoshop where I scanned in my painted gouache textures to create the background sky, clouds, and ground, plus painted the watercolor-looking color and texture digitally. Posted here is the full image and a few close-up views...

1953 was a big year for Hogan. In April he won the Masters, in June he won the US Open Championship (his 8th & 9th major championship victories), and in July he played in the Open Championship, held that year at Carnoustie. (It was his one and only time competing in an Open Championship) Hogan was tied for the lead after the third round, then shot a course record in the 4th round to win the championship. (His 10th major championship victory in his career and his last.)

drawing by Steven Salerno of Ben Hogan winning the '53 Open Championship (detail) 
drawing by Steven Salerno of Ben Hogan winning the '53 Open Championship (detail)
drawing by Steven Salerno of Ben Hogan winning the '53 Open Championship (detail)

visit my illustration website to view my portfolios for editorial, advertising, picture books, etc... as well as client list, list of published picture books and more...




TRUMP STEAMING

As an illustrator, I'm definitely not known as a political satirist at all... in fact over the past 18 years I have been mostly involved with illustrating and writing picture books for kids which is decidedly at the opposite end of the artistic spectrum relative to political satire... However earlier in my graphics career I had quite a number of assignments from magazines and newspapers to illustrate various articles criticizing and poking at the politicians of the day... with probably my most notable client being The New York Times Op/Ed Page where I created drawings for articles on President Reagan and his policies... 

Trump Steaming -illustration by Steven Salerno visit stevensalerno.com

above (Trump Steaming)
A recent illustration of our current Commander in Tweet, President Donald Trump, that I created just for my own amusement (it was not a publication assignment), as I felt compelled to create a satirical image of him which reflected his charming character... So I depicted him in a Russian Bath House, perhaps taking time out from his busy golf schedule to take a steam and get some more private Twitter time... we see him in all his orange-ish birthday suit glory revealing his various tattoos which highlight his hierarchy of obsessive interests: money, real estate, sexy women, golf, and America. (I was inspired by the bath house scene from the film, Eastern Promises...) With the tattoos and dark glasses I feel I captured the essence of his thuggish behavior. (FYI: it was drawn in Adobe Illustrator, then brought into Photoshop for additional painting and digital coloring)


above  (The Kim vs The Donald)
A recent illustration I created for INXart (editorial art service) commenting on the meeting that took place between President Trump and Kim Jong Un... a sort of benign sword fight  played out for the media and the masses...  (FYI: it was drawn with crayon, then brought into Photoshop for additional painting and digital coloring)


Reagan Leading the Party -illustration from the early '80's by Steven Salerno visit stevensalerno.com

caricature of Bill Clinton -illustration from the '90's by Steven Salerno visit stevensalerno.com
...

Visit my illustration web site to view all my portfolios, picture books, client list, list of published books, etc...

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Steven Salerno has three more picture books scheduled for release in 2018! 

I have twenty-five picture books published to date, with three more picture books scheduled for release in 2018, and another two titles slated for release in 2019 and 2020.

Watch for these new titles:
> Tim's Goodbye
-written and illustrated by Steven Salerno. (Farrar Straus Giroux)
Margot and her friends mysteriously come together, then, by way of a visual twist within the illustrations, the reader discovers the kids have gathered to express their heartfelt goodbye to a beloved pet that has died.

 
> PASS GO And Collect $200 -The Real Story of How MONOPOLY was Invented
-written by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by Steven Salerno. (Christy Ottaviano Books-Henry Holt & Company) non-fiction
How Lizzie Magie invented the basic game concept in 1903 naming it The Landlord's Game, and then independently years later Charles Darrow contributed streamlined changes to the game concept that he renamed MONOPOLY -all of which that lead to its broad popularity and success when distributed by The Parker Brothers game company.


> PRIDE -The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag
-written by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Steven Salerno. (Random House) non-fiction
The story of San Francisco politician and early gay-rights activist Harvey Milk, who was murdered in 1978, including his role in the creation of the colorful iconic Rainbow flag.


TIM's GOODBYE




^ above 3 images  
cover and two inside illustrations (cropped) for Tim's GoodbyeMargot and her friends mysteriously come together, then, by way of a visual twist within 
the illustrations, the reader discovers the kids have gathered to express their heartfelt goodbye to a beloved pet that has died.
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PASS GO And Collect $200 -The Real Story of How MONOPOLY was Invented



^ above 3 images 
a couple of the inside illustrations for PASS GO And Collect $200 -The Real Story of How MONOPOLY was Invented -non-fiction: The story of Lizzie Magie, who in 1903, invented the basic concept for a board game named The Landlord's Game. Then years later Charles Darrow independently contributed streamlined changes to this board game concept and to the graphics, which he renamed MONOPOLY. These changes, and the distribution by The Parker Brothers game company all lead to MONOPOLY's broad popularity and commercial success.
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PRIDE -The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag





^ above 3 images 
a couple of the inside illustrations, and the cover art for PRIDE -The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag -The story of San Francisco politician and early gay activist Harvey Milk, who was murdered in 1978, including his role in the creation of the colorful iconic Rainbow flag.
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Visit stevensalerno.com to see many of my picture books, as well as illustration works for advertising, magazines, newspapers, publishing, product packaging, retail graphics, etc...





Monday, October 17, 2016

"Ghosts from Our Past" -illustration project for companion book associated with the new 2016 Ghostbusters™ movie

This past winter (in February 2016) I received a very interesting book project offer from Penguin/Random House editor Elizabeth Rendfleisch... and because I had already illustrated several picture books for Random House, I initially thought Elizabeth's offer was going to be to illustrate another picture book for kids. 


Sidebar: Over my long illustration career I've illustrated many books: cookbooks, novel covers, travel books, etc... and to date, I've also illustrated 24 popular picture books for kids, with 5 more picture book titles being released over the next three years.
(see a list of my published picture books)

However, it turned out that her project offer was for illustrating an adult fiction title, Ghosts from Our Past -the tongue-in-cheek guide to paranormal activity. This book would be published quickly, for release in July 2016 in direct association with the much anticipated summer blockbuster SONY Pictures movie, Ghostbusters. (Ghostbusters™ & © 2016 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.) 
cover of Ghosts from Our Past (2016 Three Rivers Press/ Penguin Random House)

Ghosts from Our Past was written as if penned by two main characters from the movie, paranormal activity researchers Erin Gilbert (played by Kristen Wiig) and Abby L. Yates (played by Melissa McCarthy). 
(ghost) drawing by Steven Salerno for book, Ghosts from Our Past

(hedgehog) drawing by Steven Salerno for book, Ghosts from Our Past

And so Elizabeth explained to me that the final illustrations for this book needed to be created in a manner as if they were actual sketches drawn by these fictional authors. This was a fun twist... plus, how could I turn down a project where I get to draw ghosts and monsters and it's associated with a famous film franchise? 

Of course I accepted the project! But the deadline was tight. (I'd have to complete all 30 of the required illustrations in about a month.)

I asked Elizabeth how she came to seek me out for this project, and she explained she had liked my "sci-fi character sketches" portfolio section on my illustration web site, and knew I'd be perfect for the Ghosts from Our Past project. (note: my sci-fi character sketches are a collection of my doodles where I invent alien creatures, all just for my own amusement.)
RAVEN drawing by Steven Salerno for book, Ghosts from Our Past

HORSE drawing by Steven Salerno for book, Ghosts from Our Past

ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE drawing by Steven Salerno for book, Ghosts from Our Past

The essential requirements for the 30 illustrations needed for Ghosts from our Past was they needed to be rendered in black & white and must look like sketches. Now, with any illustration project I do, whether it be for advertising, or editorial, or publishing, my normal process is to first create the preliminary sketches, which are approved by the editor or design director, then I proceed with creating the final illustrations. However with this particular project my preliminary sketches (once approved) would be used as the final art for the book! In other words, the drawings purposely had to look a bit rough and unrefined, like a sketch. Skipping the normal "final art" rendering stage is what allowed me to meet their tight deadline!

PROCESS
I created the originals by simply drawing directly on paper -with pencil, crayon, or ink... then scanned all the drawings into Photoshop where with some of the drawings (on a separate layer) I created a digital gray wash, simulating a gray watercolor or diluted ink wash effect. 

MANTIS drawing by Steven Salerno for book, Ghosts from Our Past

RACCOON drawing by Steven Salerno for book, Ghosts from Our Past

Posted above are 7 (of the thirty illustrations) I created for the book. For purposes of this web post, I dropped the B&W drawings onto a buff colored background, just for better contrast against the bright white screen background.

This was a fun project for sure. And once I finished it I was immediately right back working on my other children's books projects... Ultimately, because I was offered this project due to the editor seeing my sci-fi character sketches portfolio, I may begin exploring other assignments related to my alien creature imaginings.

Visit stevensalerno.com to view all my portfolio sections, as well as many of my picture books for kids.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Arnold Palmer, the golf King forever...

A tribute to Arnold Palmer (1929-2016) 
Posted here are two drawings I had created in the past of golfing great Arnold Palmer, who passed away this week at age 87. 
Because of my lifelong love for the game of golf, back in 2010 I launched a separate web site dedicated just to my many golf art drawings and paintings and limited edition prints, sasgolf.com. Arnold Palmer has always been one of my golf heroes, and I’ve been a huge fan all my life, especially after meeting him in person when I was 14 years old back in 1972. (my older brother had attended the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy at Stratton Mountain in southern Vermont that summer, and my father and I were invited to the opening day ceremonies where Arnie gave a clinic on the range and also played an exhibition round. It was a thrill to shake his hand and get an autograph, which I have to this day)
In both these drawings I depicted Mr. Palmer in his very recognizable and distinctive putting stance.They were created with crayon, pastel, gouache and digital color. These two particular images are no longer available as limited edition prints, but there are many other golf fine art archival prints available for purchase at sasgolf.com
above “Arnie” by Steven Salerno
above “The King” by Steven Salerno
To view my illustration portfolios for advertising, editorial, packaging, etc... including my many children's books, visit stevensalerno.com

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sunday NY Times, recent illustration cover assignment (Real Estate section)

Posted here is a look at a recent illustration assignment I did for The New York Times, appearing on their REAL ESTATE section cover on Sunday 9/11/2016. 
detail of illustration for NY Times, Real Estate section
It was for an article on new apps that helps determine precisely which of NYC’s 288 various neighborhoods would make the best fit for you, based on your preferences and needs when moving to the city. The article was info-heavy, so as a visual counter balance I created the five boroughs as fun puzzle-shapes, and to reflect that these apps helps one determine which neighborhood in which borough would be the best fit. Then I added in various vignettes icons that echo the many points made in the article about client’s needs. 
detail of illustration for NY Times, Real Estate section
It was created with a gouache painted texture that I layered into Photoshop for the background, then all the puzzle shapes and black & white vignette icons were all drawn digitally, including the lettering of the neighborhood names. All these elements were on separate layers so I could easily adjust all the elements within the composition.
full illustration for NY Times, Real Estate section
I started out as an illustrator in 1980, and one of my first clients was The NY Times... and I have created illustration work for them every year since. 36 years! 
detail of illustration for NY Times web site, Real Estate section
Posted here are some detail views of the finished illustration, the full view, and also a shot detail from the nytimes.com posting of the article and illustration. I actually have yet to see the printed Sunday Times with the illustration on the Real Estate section cover. 
For the past few years I have been doing illustrations in a much more realistic style manner... but for this assignment, due to the required light approach, I slipped back into my earlier more whimsical style mode, which you can still see samples of in the editorial and advertising portfolio sections on my web site, stevensalerno.com Take a look!