Friday, June 27, 2008

NBA Friday: Rasheed Wallace

For those of you stopping by for the first time, this is my weekly NBA Friday painting. Starting way back in November with the tip-off of the 2007-2008 NBA season I started doing illustrations of one player from one team every Friday.

This is the 27th NBA Friday painting and there are only three teams remaining, with the Spurs, Lakers and Celtics left to be represented.

This week belongs to the Detroit Pistons' Rasheed Wallace, the 6'11.5" forward with an aptitude for picking up technical fouls and his outspokenness helps allows him to lead the league in memorable post-game interviews.

Some people love him, some people hate him. "I know I'm Public Enemy No. 1. Fifty percent (of the fans) hate me and 50 percent love me no matter what I do," Wallace once said while a member of the Portland Trail Blazers.

In the last 8 seasons Rasheed Wallace has led the league in technical fouls 6 times, and made the top three 7 times. Since the 2000-2001 season, he has 173 technical fouls!

Because of his association with the technical foul, I wanted to show Rasheed with the NBA's official rules regarding technical fouls in the background. I designed it as if it was an actual page out of the rule book, with Rasheed's picture shown to display a prime example.

I also drew in a couple illustrations showing how to properly assess a technical foul, something Rasheed has seen too often in his career.

In my basketball career I only picked up one technical foul. It came after I was hammered driving the lane for a layup and I asked the referee, so politely, "Mr. Referee, what constitutes a foul these days? Please explain to me why you neglected to call a foul on the previous play."

Maybe that isn't exactly what I said, but I felt pretty bad about getting a technical foul. My dad, as my coach, probably led our league in technical fouls. Like Rasheed, he probably didn't deserve half of them, but the refs were trying to set an example.

You can see this piece larger on the Portraiture page, or on SLAMonline in the Links by Lang Whitaker. Check back next week for the San Antonio Spurs!

[Update: You can also find this piece for sale as a limited edition print in my shop! Also, thanks to Natalie for posting this illustration at]

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Williamsburg Savings Bank

This is a sketch of the Willliamsburg Savings Bank on Broadway and Driggs Avenue (not to be confused with the Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower on Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn).

I sat down the street from Peter Luger's Steakhouse on Driggs Avenue on Tuesday afternoon.

The bank was built between 1870 and 1875 in a neoclassical style of architecture designed by George B. Post. He would later design City College (1886-1906), the Brooklyn Historical Society (1881) and the New York Stock Exchange (1903).

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Coney Island

Chantal and I went to Coney Island yesterday for the Mermaid Parade. It was a lot of fun and we found a great spot on the pier to do some sketching afterwards.
It was the perfect vantage point for drawing people without them noticing.
You can see some of Chantal's sketches here.

Friday, June 13, 2008

NBA Friday: LeBron James

This is my fourth time painting LeBron James since he came into the NBA out of high school in 2003.

Even if you don't follow basketball it's likely you've heard of LeBron. He's a household name by now and has been for a while. He was on the cover of SLAM magazine and Sports Illustrated before he was a senior in high school.

Some of his high school games were aired live on ESPN and as a high schooler he was rubbing shoulders with Michael Jordan and Jay-Z.

At one point during his junior season there was even talk that he would skip his last year of high school to play in the NBA.

There was a lot of hype, shoe companies clamoring for his feet and a few controversies.

Now, almost five years since he entered the NBA, LeBron has lived up to the hype as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Whenever I mention LeBron James to someone who doesn't follow basketball I usually get a response like, "Oh yeah, that guy, is he actually any good?" He actually is! And he's actually really good.

On my first trip to New York in March of 2004 as LeBron was making his way through his rookie season I picked up a poster at Nike Town. LeBron "King" James was seated on a throne with two lions at his feet and dark red curtains in the background.

I've always liked lions so I decided to place LeBron in a landscape with four of them. He's one of the best players in the league and he's only getting better.

You can see this piece larger on the Portraiture page. It is also available as a print from my shop.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Washington City Paper

I have an illustration on the cover of the Washington City Paper's current issue about billionaire businessman Mitchell Rales and his limited-access, private museum built on his 125-acre estate in Potomac, Maryland.

The museum is called the Glenstone Museum and includes pieces by Pollock, Warhol, Matisse, Koons, Rauschenberg, and de Kooning.

Rales supposedly hasn't given an interview in over 20 years and photos of him are hard to find but I was given the task of painting his portrait from a couple of images online.
I wanted to show the museum in the background, reflected in his pond as a castle to give the idea of its exclusivity and lack of public access.

You can see these images on my Portfolio page. If you'd like to read the article, you can find that by clicking here.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Summer in Brooklyn

I saw this same scene about 4 times while walking around Bushwick yesterday.
Every corner will soon be set up with piragua (Puerto Rican snow cones) men scraping ice off giant blocks into cups and pouring syrup on top. Summer is officially here!

Continental Army Plaza

This is a sketch of the sculpture "George Washington at Valley Forge" which is the centerpiece of Continental Army Plaza in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was sculpted by Henry Mervin Shrady and unveiled in 1903 to coincide with the opening of the Williamsburg Bridge (the approach to the bridge is steps away from the sculpture).

The base of the sculpture is a popular spot for skateboarding tricks, loitering and napping.