Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tall Tuesday: I'm Dreaming of a Tall Christmas!

I don't normally show off my card before it arrives to everyone I sent it to, but since it's tall related, and it's the last Tuesday before Christmas.....Here it is in all its glory!

In this case I was inspired by two Christmas shows: 1) The Snow "Bumble" in the T.V. special, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" who places the star atop the Christmas tree in Santa Claus's home, and 2) the movie, "Elf" with Will Ferrell. "Elf" actually illustrates some of the challenges of being tall such ducking through doors and sleeping in beds that are too small. I love him sitting in Daddy's (Bob Newhart) lap.

I hope everyone tall or small has a festive Christmas season!

About the art:

This was drawn on Bristol board with pencil, ink and watercolor. I used masking fluid applied with a toothpick to mask out the lettering in the tree. Some fine tuning clean up was done in Photoshop. I left the texture of the paper in the scan, which gave an illusion of texture in the printed card.

I should have printed a test sample on glossy paper at home since the printed card came out much darker than I thought it would.

Prior to the final art I worked out some thumbnail sketches and a mockup, both traditional and digital (using ArtRage), to determine where to use ink and where to let the watercolor shapes stand alone.

I printed the card through Zazzle. I'll write more about this in another post.

Mail Theme for Illustration Friday

I'm not above recycling my images for Illustration Friday. I posted this one last October under "Fast". Below are the other images referenced in that post. That post's website link to the wallpaper is broken now, but feel free to use these three as wallpaper.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Contagious Yawn Phenomenon

Yawning. It happens. It's contagious. Why? I don't know, but here are some links to various theories.

Yawning: It Isn't About Oxygen Anymore
Yawn Theory: The Effects of Contagious Yawns on Males and Females (I like the note about Mom helping with the paste ups.)

I remember a funny joke where supposedly a student wrote a science paper explaining how contagious yawning was a way to equalize the air pressure in a room. Unfortunately I can't find it.

About the art:
It was all made in an old version of Adobe Illustrator. I don't prefer to create art directly in Illustrator. It feels a little too mechanical and technical, but the copy and paste and alignment features were exactly what I needed for this concept.

Tall Tuesday: Helping Others With Your Height

I saw this video from Values.com called "Top Shelf" a few months back where a tall man helps a shorter, senior woman grab an item off the shelf in a grocery store. I've done this many times over the years. Whether it's the holiday season or not try to lend a helping hand where you can, and welcome the good karma feeling you receive in return.

About the art:
I went traditional with ink, watercolor and colored pencil. I used a dental tool to scratch out the jeans to make them a little worn looking. I need to work on applying watercolor to faces. I apply the rosy blushes too late or with too much water making it too blotchy. The jacket came out a little too blue as well, but that's the point of doing these practice pieces.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tall Tuesday: Vintage vs New Banana Republic

There was a time when the Banana Republic clothing stores had a mystique about them. If I could only where their clothing, I would instantly be on safari in Africa, shopping the bazaars of Morocco, digging for relics in South America or climbing the mountains of the Far East. It was instant exotic adventure. Tom Cruise's bomber jacket from "Top Gun" and Harrison Ford's vintage clothes from "Indiana Jones" help reinforce this dream in my teenage mind.

Alas it was not to be. Their clothes did not fit a lad of 6'7". T-shirts were too short. Shorts rode up and pants looked like capris. When I was fortunate enough to visit their store in Cleveland, complete with palms and an old army jeep, I could only come away with a khaki roll up hat, which I still wear for yard work today.

Years later Banana Republic offers tall clothes via their website only. I only discovered the fact this year and had a major buying spree thanks to a 40% off on-line coupon. I like some of their current styles. The wool slacks and sweaters are great.

But let's face it the mystique is gone. Shopping on-line has definite advantages, but it pales compared to flipping through their vintage catalogs that looked and read like travel journals. Every item was represented through a man-made illustration with watercolor and colored pencil. Interspersed were lovely spot art illustrations usually dealing with a them from the featured artist. Just check out these covers by H. Craig Hannah (the Expatriate Hall of Fame) and An Ching Chang (On the Road to Mandalay). Fantastic!

I'll try to post more scans from these later once I finish my Christmas card for the year. I also wanted to do a proper illustration for this post.