Friday, December 14, 2018

A few of my recent satirical political illustrations of our embattled President Trump, seemingly one step ahead of the accusations of Russian connections and business ties during the 2016 Presidential campaign... My usual body of work is illustrations for picture books, magazines and advertising, so it is interesting and fun to create these satirical critical images from time to time...

Visit to view my various illustration portfolios and get an overview of my work.

Note on process: All of these illustrations were initially drawn using Adobe Illustrator (on a Wacom digital drawing tablet) and then I brought the drawings into Adobe Photoshop where scanned painted gouache textures were added as well as digital color (composed in layers) to create and finalize the competed illustrations.

above: President Trump taking a much needed break from all his Tweeting for a relaxing Russian steam... and exposing his various personal tattoos representing his key interests: money, real estate, golf, sexy women, and America. Illustration by Steven Salerno  -visit

above: King Donald  -Our President brandishing his little sword, wearing the finest royal outfit embroidered in gold. Illustration by Steven Salerno  -visit

above: King Donald (detail) Illustration by Steven Salerno  -visit

above: The Donald, dragging the pesky extra weight of the Russian Collusion accusations behind him, adding even more stress onto the Republican ride. Illustration by Steven Salerno  -visit
                                                                     . . .
Visit to view my various illustration portfolios and get an overview of my work.

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 Ellis. 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 "Ellis" illustrations posted below I drew the characters directly in Adobe Illustrator (on a Wacom tablet) using a variety of their "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 ELLIS... visit
mock cover illustration for ELLIS... visit

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
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...


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

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

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

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