Friday, September 9, 2011

Returning Home...

Fortunately for me, I had stipulated originally that if for any reason Starbucks no longer wanted the painting they commissioned, it would revert back to me. (Sometimes I am amazed at my good thinking!)

Here I am picking up the Starbucks painting, headed home where I hope it fits in my studio! I had to rent a uHaul truck since the painting is so big.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


About 13 years ago Starbucks commissioned a painting from a local artist for their newest store in Willow Glen. That artist was me! The painting reflected the community, the uniqueness of the neighborhood and was 7'x9'.

Years later they commissioned from me 4 additional smaller paintings (2'x2') depicting the Mission statement key points of their Baristas.

The store was remodeled recently and afterwards, the large painting they commissioned from me no longer physically fit on the wall. A very sad day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Have you any wool?

The wool theme was a hit, so why not go full sheep right?

I have to say, I love my corn. I love my sheep, too. This piece makes me smile.

Also, the woman has changed. The client requested all the women in the product line should be based on the same woman, so we went with my original 'goddess' woman with flowing hair... only her hair could switch from left to right, and from auburn to brown and black. I was very happy with this decision as the "goddess" woman is from an earlier painting of mine that the client related to in the first place. It seems fitting that her color, strength and beauty (which lead to this client/illustrator relationship) become the central force to these illustrations. This is the final illustration.

Do your knees crack?

The second product line for the freelance project was for joint help... so we came up with a woman in a yoga pose, highlighting the major joints.

Here is the original concept sketch on a thumbnail of the packaging shape.
One of the main ingredients in the product was derived from wool (how interesting!) so a later sketch I made showed a woman, in a yoga pose, rising above a fluff of wool. Yeah, wool.

Neither of these sketches would make it to the final illustration.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Closer In

A closer peek at the illustration. You can see the texture I've layered over the vector art as well as some of the added details like apples on the trees, striations in the sky and, of course, more bountiful grapes!

It is always a balance between what the client wants in the illustration and staying true to your vision, your style, your experience with what makes good art. My work is generally large shapes, "bad-tangents" and the play and movement between positive and negative space. I'm not an artist who fills an image with detail. Details for me are shifts in temperature or value. As an illustrator, I enjoy creating art for a purpose, for a client, for specific sizes... bring on the limitations :D

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Adventure Continues...

My great opportunity has proven to be a wild ride. It has had so many twists that just like life, you think you know where you are headed and then you find yourself someplace else :D After concepts and sketches were approved and designs explored it was finally time to begin illustrating! The fun part!

I've been working digitally for years but rarely do I get the opportunity to create a real painting completely digitally. I was excited! (I create artwork in my day job digitally but they are either icons or vector spot illustrations, and not 'painterly' or as fully developed or high res as you would want for print.)

The job was for a series of products in the health and beauty industry. There would eventually be 5-7 product lines the client imagined. Yeah! I love working in series! We began with the first to debut, a product that contains a powerful antioxidant from grapes. I created the artwork almost completely in Adobe Illustrator. I did add a layer in Photoshop of texture, a screen of a photo I took of a plaster wall. This added a softness and a 'toothy' feel like it was painted on a heavy rag paper. I liked the effect a lot.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sketches for layouts

It's one thing to sketch out an idea for a painting and then if you are an illustrator you have the added confines of space, layout, overlays of text or graphics.

I always start with a very rough sketch of what I'm picturing in my head. This is simply a communication between my imagined painting and my hand. I only need to quickly let a rough image flow from my head to my hand and paper and then I can move on to a more refined sketch.

Left sketch is the initial pouring of my idea to paper and then on the right I've refined it more and placed it on a thumbnail template of the most limiting conditions of the layout... which for this project was the product pouch. Very tiny.