Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"a rocky little Maine island" -illustration by Steven Salerno
Some drawings (illustrations) are the result of planned reference searches, preliminary sketches, color studies, etc… and then executing the final art. And even this elaborate process is certainly never a guarantee of a wonderful result.
And on the flip side are spontaneous drawings created without any of the above mentioned pre-planning or any sketches at all. You just make the image directly, making quick decisions as your pen moves, relying on your own imagination and visual experience (memory) with the particular subject at hand… A “wonderful result” percentage is just as high if not higher using this mode than the tact of preplanning and with the advantage of having preliminary sketches. Go figure!
Posted here is such an example of a spontaneous drawing I created recently as part of an assignment for ZEST Maine magazine. (a quarterly food magazine about the culinary scene in Maine). I was commissioned to create small, bold b&w line caricatures of ten food writers in Maine, and also to create a small color vignette of a “rocky little Maine island” which would be positioned at the beginning of the article to set the visual flavor. Of course, with creating the caricatures of the writers I had to rely on photo reference, make preliminary sketches, etc.. but when it came time to make the stylized, idealized drawing of the rocky little Maine island, I felt comfortable enough (having visited Maine many times) to simply make the drawing from my imagination without any photo reference or sketches…. to just jump in and make the image spontaneously. And as luck (and 50 years experience in making drawings) would have it, it came out quite well and I sent it off to the magazine. (Now, if it had not lived up to my expectations, I would have started again of course!) This illustration of the rocky little Maine island will appear in the spring 2015 issue of ZEST Maine magazine.
Visit stevensalerno.com to view all my various portfolio sections, as well as my many picture books for kids. In 2015 I will have two new picture books released:  Wild Child, written & illustrated by myself... this is the story of the wildest animal of them all, and is published by Abrams Books. And the other picture book is The Fantastic Ferris Wheel -written by Betsy Harvey Kraft, the true story of American engineer George Ferris and his invention the Ferris Wheel for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, and is published by Christy Ottaviano Books (Macmillan).