Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Heaven is a Playground

Here are a couple sketches of the basketball court, St.Luke's, near my apartment.
I've just finished reading a few books on streetball including City Game (Pete Axthelm), Last Shot (Darcy Frey) and Heaven is a Playground (Rick Telander).

They were all fantastic books and I especially liked Heaven is a Playground. The author spends a summer watching and playing basketball with players in Foster Park, Brooklyn.

It's not so bad sitting outside, watching basketball and sketching. When I'm done my drawing, I usually get in a good hour of practice.

The court is situated behind a restaurant that specializes in chicken wings, so when I'm shooting jumpers I breathe fried chicken.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ottawa Magazine: Organic Wine

The newest issue of Ottawa Magazine just hit the stands so I thought I'd put up my illustration from the issue (you can see the full illustration in the portfolio section).

I did a piece to accompany an article about organic wine. The art director wanted to have an image that was very botanical with combinations of the different types of plants used in controlling pests (such as the lupines, red clovers and mustard plants I used in the final illustration).

Some organic vineyards encourage hawks and owls to nest on the grounds to hunt rodents and small pests that would otherwise harm the crops.
I couldn't resist incorporating an owl into the image and then wrapping everything up into a wine label design.
Here are some of the sketches I completed for the project.

I thought it would be interesting to have a wine bottle growing out of the earth, with lots of roots curling up from the bottom. This is the only sketch in which I drew hawks as opposed to owls.
This is one of my favorites. I drew some inspiration from an Alphonse Mucha book. He's got some great posters with very organic vines and leaves.

The art director left it up to me to choose from this sketch above or the one below, which I ended up going with. I like this sketch, but thought the one below would work better in the layout I was given. I also like the owl better in the sketch below.

I finished the final painting in a couple of days. It is painted on 10"x14" watercolor paper.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Art Show at the Oz Kafé

Chantal and I are having an art show at the Oz Kafé here in Ottawa. The show runs from May 13th to June 9th, with a party on Friday the 25th of May from 10pm-1am.

Feel free to stop in anytime during the duration of the show to check out the work. If you're in Ottawa, it would be great to see you at the party.

Oz Kafé
361 Elgin Street

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Balcony Sketches

The weather lately has been really nice so I've taken the opportunity to do some sketching outside. I haven't ventured too far from home yet, but have set up outside on my balcony and did these drawings of a couple houses surrounding my apartment building.

There are some old homes in my area that are really nice. I think most of them have been renovated into multiple apartments.

The first two are on Frank Street, and this last one is on Waverley next door to the Hungarian Embassy.

They were pretty fun to draw, so I'm hoping to break out the camping chair and wander around the neighborhood to do some more. The Hungarian Embassy itself is pretty awesome, too, so I'd like to draw that soon. The houses were drawn with technical pens and the bushes and trees were done with a brush pen.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Stop Snitchin'

This is a piece I just finished about the 'Stop Snitchin' mentality.' This mentality is prevalent in many inner-city neighborhoods, where cooperating with police earns you the label of a 'snitch.' This attitude has garnered a lot of attention lately, especially after it was highlighted in a segment on 60 Minutes a few weeks ago.

A lot of the blame has fallen on the rap industry, as some rappers call out those who snitch and glorify the stop snitchin' mentality openly in their music.
The blame doesn't only fall on the record companies. Many people have come forward to acknowledge the stop stitchin' code and claim they have been raised to believe cooperating with police is unethical.

What used to be a silent code of the streets has become mainstream, with t-shirts and DVDs encouraging the campaign.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Yao Ming!

I just completed this painting of Yao Ming of the NBA's Houston Rockets. I designed it in the style of a Chinese propaganda poster with the Shanghai skyline in the background.
Yao was born in Shanghai to parents who both played for Chinese national basketball teams. With parents whose heights are 6'10" and 6'2" it isn't much of a surprise that Yao towers as the tallest player in the NBA at 7'6".