Thursday, May 29, 2008

Time Out Chicago: Flavor Flav

I got this really fun assignment a few weeks ago from Time Out Chicago to paint Public Enemy's gold-toothed, clock-necklace-wearing hype man, Flavor Flav.

I was asked to portray him in a field guide style illustration, so I set out to think about an environment to place him in. Some of the streets of my neighborhood seemed pretty appropriate so there wasn't too much difficulty finding inspiration and reference. To make things even easier on me, all I really had to do was look out my window into my neighbor's backyard/scrapyard.

They had just about everything I needed for me to paint the environment. I threw in some old vine-covered tree stumps, some old bricks in the ground, a leaky fire hydrant, a spray paint can and a bottle of malt liquor.
There were a few things I was required to add to Flavor that were going to be pointed to in the guide, including watches on each wrist, his viking helmet, his clock around his neck, and an extremely garish track suit (I decided on purple velour with a $100 dollar bill pattern).

I was also asked to draw a map of his habitat and a detail of his gold teeth. He actually has his name written on his teeth.

For a final touch, I painted some graffiti with one of his trademark catch-phrases, "Yeah Boy!" (pronounced "Yeeeeaaaah Boyyeeee").

You can check out the Time Out Chicago field guide to Flavor Flav here. You can also see the illustration larger on my Portfolio page.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

New Shop! Now Open!

I've just set up a shop where I am currently selling prints. I will likely start selling originals there as well in the near future.

For now the shop consists only of prints from my NBA Friday project, including portraits of Amare Stoudemire, Ron Artest, Stephon Marbury and Dwyane Wade to name a few.

I'll be adding more soon, but if you've seen an illustration on my website that you'd like to see in the shop please send me an email and I'll put it up for sale.

In the future you can find the link to the shop in the right side bar of this page, or for now you can click the button below to take you there.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Chicago Magazine Illustrations

I got a really awesome job recently to do a bunch of illustrations for Chicago Magazine.

The issue has a whole section about Lake Michigan, including five short stories about the lake which I provided illustrations for. You can see all of those illustrations on my Portfolio page.

I was also lucky enough to have the chance to paint some birds and fish, both of which I really enjoy painting. Throw in some volleyball hand positions, some knot drawings, a sandcastle and a map of the shoreline and it was a pretty big assignment.

You can see the birds and fish in detail along with their names on the Portfolio page.

I've never been a great volleyball player but I really like drawing hands so these were all pretty fun to do. You can find the knots and the sandcastle on Black and White page.
The drawing below was for a short story called 'The Seiche' by Stuart Dybek.

Friday, May 23, 2008

NBA Friday: Carlos Boozer

Today's NBA Friday belongs to Carlos Boozer of the Utah Jazz. I was set on painting Boozer for a while, although at the last minute it was a toss-up between him and the Jazz point guard Deron Williams.

Boozer was born in Germany, grew up in Juneau, Alaska and attended Duke University where he won the NCAA Championship in 2001.

Carlos has a quite a few tattoos, a couple of them being the inspiration for this piece. On his left arm he has a large tattoo of a grizzly bear tearing through the skin with the words 'C-Booz Unleashed' beneath it. According to Carlos, he feels he plays with the type of ferocity and power that a grizzly bear possesses.

I wanted to portray Boozer in pose that reflected that attitude with some tattoo details, including him tearing through the page (similar to his grizzly tattoo) and having the script beneath the figure.
I planned this painting to include a second image, although it's pretty (extremely) subtle. I wanted the whole illustration to be the head of a bear, so if you use your imagination I'm hoping you can see it. Imagine the two bear heads as eyes, Boozer as the snout and the torn edges and rips in the scroll as fur and teeth.

You can see this piece larger on the Portraiture page and on SLAMonline in the Links by Lang Whitaker.

Friday, May 16, 2008

NBA Friday: Guess who?

This week's NBA Friday is still in its preliminary sketching and idea phases, so please come back next Friday when I will hopefully have the finished piece!

I'm really excited to paint this next one. I won't say who it is, but if you follow the NBA this may be a hint. He looks a bit like the guy pictured below (Panthro from Thundercats). But just a bit.

Send me an email if you think you know who it is!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Bad Host

I'm currently in the midst of switching website hosts so there are some kinks that still need to be worked out with my blog and a couple of other issues.

Sorry for the ugliness and all the little boxes with red x's in them. As soon as I figure out how to turn those into pictures, everything will be just fine.

Thanks for your patience!

Monday, May 12, 2008

NBA Monday: Amare Stoudemire

On Friday I posted the progress of my newest NBA Friday painting - Amare Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns.

I am a big fan of the Phoenix Suns and their uptempo, run and gun style. Their style changed a bit halfway through this season when they traded for Shaquille O'Neal and I suddenly found myself cheering for someone I promised I would never cheer for.

Their head coach, who was the mind behind their offense has left to coach the Knicks and Steve Nash, their tricky and sharp shooting point guard isn't getting any younger (he's 34 years old).

Amare Stoudemire on the other hand is just getting started towards being one of the top players in the league. He is a great young player, and that's why I chose to paint him over any of the other Suns players.

I painted this piece following the shape and design of a basketball key where Amare's portrait is in the circle at the top of the key. The two large cacti make up the sides of the key, the two birds are the hash marks below the free throw line and the sun is the half circle marking the restricted area for drawing charges. I thought it would all work nicely with an Arizona landscape.

Friday, May 9, 2008

NBA Friday: In Progress

Here is a photo of this week's NBA Friday in progress. The team of the week is the Phoenix Suns and I chose to illustrate Amare Stoudemire, their 6'10" power forward.

I didn't get a chance to finish it in time for today, but I will get in done this weekend and post the completed version on Monday.
For this painting I am working on 90 lb cold press Arches watercolor paper. I like the 90 lb stuff as opposed to the 140 lb because it has a bit of a smoother texture. If I'm doing an illustration with a lot more ink work I will usually work on 90 or 140 lb hot press paper.
I cut a full sheet in half and soak it in the bathtub for 25 minutes, then place it on my gator board and staple it down like crazy to prevent buckling. It works great!

Come back on Monday for the finished illustration of Amare, some cacti and a coyote.

Friday, May 2, 2008

NBA Friday: Dwight Howard

Back in February Dwight Howard won the NBA's Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend. One of his dunks included him revealing a Superman shirt beneath his jersey and donning a cape (which I wrote about after that weekend).

Since that weekend he has taken over one of Shaquille O'Neal's nicknames (one of many), Superman. He's got the biggest shoulders in the NBA and led the NBA in rebounds this season at the age of 22.

I've always been a fan of the Superman comics. When Clark Kent proposed to Lois Lane in Superman #50 my parents scoured the city for the issue the day it hit the shelves. We figured it would be worth a lot of money someday and we ended up with 4 copies.

For this piece I wanted to paint Dwight Howard in a classic Superman pose, with Dwight tearing off his suit, hat and glasses and revealing his Orlando Magic uniform. The top of the Daily Planet is in the background, modified to include Dwight’s name and the grooves of a basketball.

You can see this piece on SLAMonline in the Links by Lang Whitaker.