Thursday, May 28, 2009

BLACK is back! (US Open returns to Bethpage)

Visit my golf art web site, to purchase signed, limited edition prints.
BLACK is back! On June 18th, the US Open Championship is back at the Black Course at Bethpage... (in Farmingdale, New York on Long Island) The best professional golfers are back to challenge one of the toughest golf courses on the planet! (The US Open was played there back in 2002, won by Tiger Woods, who was the only player to finish under par. And this year's course is playing to an even longer yardage!)
I love the game of golf. And when I am not busy with my regular illustration career schedule, I find the time to also create golf related images for myself...
Seen above (top image) is a poster I designed, using a full-color digital painting I created of the Bethpage Black Course's 14th hole, a short par 3, seen on a late summer afternoon when the shadows were getting long. (and below it is a detail view of the painting)
For reference I used a photo I'd taken on a day I played the Bethpage Black Course last year. (I had managed to snag a tee time ONCE on the Black Course last summer... Yes, it's a public course! It's nearly impossible to get a tee time on the Black Course, so usually I end up playing the Red Course or the Blue Course.)
Then I simply painted my image in Adobe Photoshop, on multiple layers, using my custom color palette of cmyk colors, just a few different paintbrush tools and erase tools and working with my digital "pen" on a 12" x 12" Wacom tablet. It's a terrific way to "paint" because I can try multiple color and texture variations so quickly. And when I make a mark or stroke, and don't quite get it just the way I intended it on the first try, I can simply delete the mark or stroke and try executing it again...
The poster shown next (entitled "The Black Course") is another I designed using a very graphic drawing I had created in strong blues and blacks only, of the Black Course's par three 17th hole. It was drawn in Adobe Illustrator directly on my digital Wacom tablet using just a few different "brush" tools and color fills... It's difficult to see in these small screen samples, but the trees in the background are very boldly done in a calligraphic manner. One must see the full 24" x 36" sized poster to appreciate the simple and bold nature of the image.
Click here to see an earlier posting on several other US Open posters I created for the upcoming event next month at Bethpage... as a self-motivated project.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Downtown Manhattan Map...

To see all my illustration portfolio samples, visit
Doing map assignments are certainly fun, but a lot of work too, because the map usually must also include many little icons as a client requirement. Posted here is a recent map image I created for art director Carolyn McClain at Crain's New York Business Weekly -focussing on the downtown financial area of Manhattan. (New York City)
The image was done by painting a background shape (in gouache on watercolor paper) of the island area and the water... and also a simple black line-drawing of the Statue of Liberty, and scanning everything into Photoshop... where I then, in separate layers, created all the icon elements using simple Photoshop tools: people, buildings, food, boats, bridges, birds, textures, etc... Since everything was in layers, I could then easily adjust and fine tune the location of all the elements by moving them around.
Posted above is the full map image, as well as a detail view of a section, so you can better see the detail and textures. As usual, the project was under the time gun... but it came out very well.
An advertising agency in Dallas saw the image, and it almost obtained me an annual report project for one of their clients... but unfortunately I did not get that project. Oh well... you win some and you lose some!
Remember, all you illustrators out there, to negotiate a sufficiently higher fee when offered a map project, because all the related little icons you'll be doing are going to take more time!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Susan Boyle.... (what a caricature!)

To see all my illustration portfolio samples, visit
As you can see by visiting my web site, there are not any samples of celebrity caricatures... but I do indeed create caricatures, I just don't choose to promote them on my site. Over the years, for various magazines, I have done caricatures of famous people: Ronald Reagan, George Bush #'s 1 & 2, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Bette Midler, Mr. Rogers, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Speilberg, Bill Gates, Pamela Anderson, Julia Childs, and others...
Recently, like 100 million others, I have seen the images of singer Susan Boyle ,the competitor on the TV show "Britain's Got Talent" and just could not resist creating a caricature of her... What a face! From her distinctive hair style, prominent eyebrows, double chin, etc... it was a breeze to accentuate her features. (in case you are wondering what the #1432 is doing in the drawing... that is the competitor tag # she was wearing during the talent competition.)
Posted here is my relatively quick drawing of Susan Boyle I created in Adobe Illustrator on my Wacom digital tablet, and then opened in Adobe Photoshop to add a layer of simple color wash.
Click here to view a previous post on doing caricatures...