Tuesday, September 24, 2013

creation of my next WORKBOOK promotional ad

For many years throughout my career, each year one of my self promotional tactics as an illustrator is to place a directory ad page with the illustration source book, WORKBOOK. In recent years their book size format changed, from being one large 11" x 8.5" book released to art directors once a year in the spring, to now being two smaller books formatted at 9.25" x 7.25" with one released in the spring and one in the fall season.

Posted here is a peek at my upcoming single ad page art I created, which will be released in the WORKBOOK spring 2014 book.... I call it "the cyclists" featuring a "high wheel" bike from the 1870's and also a sleeker modern bike of today. It is just a simple juxtaposition of the two eras. 

If you visit my web site, you see that I still create illustrations in my light. whimsical style, particularly for my food illustrations and of course for my picture books, but lately I have also been creating many illustrations in my "new style" (see the NEW STUFF portfolio section) which is actually a present day spin on how my own illustration style looked at the very start of my career a million years ago! -darker and more realistic. I wanted to place an ad in WORKBOOK which advertised the new style images of mine rather than the whimsical ones.

I am currently gearing up for a new picture book project, a non-fiction story on the life of George Ferris, who invented the Ferris Wheel for the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. (He called his invention an "observation wheel" but the public nick-named the contraption the Ferris Wheel, and the name stuck.) And I plan on illustrating this book in my darker/more realistic illustration style. So recently I have been pouring through reference photos from the 1870's - 1890's in preparation for the book project, and was in love with some photos I saw of these "high wheel wheel" bicycles from the day, and decided to draw one, for use in my upcoming WORKBOOK ad.

Below are the various simple stages I went through to create "the cyclists" art image:

-completed ad page-   visit stevensalerno.com
above: here is the completed art image as it will appear in the 2014 WORKBOOK illustration directory. It is too small to see in this screen view, but there is white informational type bending above the upper bike's rear wheel, as well as along the rear frame of the bottom bike. The image was created by scanning into Photoshop my ink and charcoal drawings of the two bikes, then adding in texture and color digitally.

-"high wheel" ink drawing-   visit stevensalerno.com
above: this is the pen & ink drawing of the 1870's "high wheel" bike I created. The smudging you see was done by wetting my finger and smearing the ink line as I drew. The horizontal ground lines at the bottom were drawn with charcoal.

-detail-   visit stevensalerno.com
above: detail of the ink drawing. Near the beard you can see traces of my finger prints from when I smeared the ink lines as I drew. The photo reference I used was of a man with a beard, but I made up the uniform, bag, and flowing coat tails for dramatic effect.

-charcoal drawing of bike-   visit stevensalerno.com
above: My charcoal drawing of a modern day cyclist... To heighten the contrast with the 1870's bicycle, I purposely made this drawing with airy simple lines... loosely drawn and sketchy in appearance. I like that the frame of the bike was literally done with five strokes of the charcoal stick.

above: I scanned the ink drawing into Photoshop and positioned it at the bottom, and then also added in a scan of a textured paper to act as a background, and manipulated it's color into a kind of a dull mustard.

-composing bike images-   visit stevensalerno.com
above: Next I scanned the charcoal drawing of the modern day bicycle into Photoshop too, composing the two image as you see here, with the modern bicycle stacked on top.

-adding white color-   visit stevensalerno.com
above: I began the process of adding digital color in Photoshop by indicating the white layer first.

-adding digital color-   visit stevensalerno.com
above: In Photoshop I then digitally added in color on several different layers, using various "brush" tools and "erase" tools to get the effect I desired. I purposely used the same color blue for each cyclist's clothing... but with the modern day cyclist kept the color flat.

-manipulating background-   visit stevensalerno.com
above: In Photoshop I then manipulated areas of the background paper color to create a kind of hand-made looking digitized texture... you can see it in the upper left corner of the image above. I also designed the type positioning for the promotional ad by wrapping the info along the same curve as the wheel.

-completed art image-   visit stevensalerno.com
above: a view of the final art again, as it will appear as my promotional ad page in the 2014 WORKBOOK illustration directory.

Visit my illustration web site to see many samples of my illustrations for magazines, advertising, packaging, and children's picture books.