Friday, February 8, 2008

John F. Kennedy

Some interesting things are happening in the world of Allan Burch Illustration. Namely, busyness. More-so than any other point in my history. I'll post the jobs, soon, and I'll talk about the other pending jobs, once they are secured.

In the meantime, I'm watching with anticipation to see if Amy Winehouse can pull off some Grammy wins. She is laced, liberally, throughout this blog, in reference as well as the christening post. Needless to say, I think quite highly of her music.

In current blogging news, how about this nugget from 2007. In my prior post, I mentioned how my Bruce Springsteen portrait ushered in a "golden age" of my illustration development. That was in the mid-90s. A lot of steady development took place between then and the summer of 2007, but JFK ushered in a new golden-age for me, in a number of ways. Firstly, it was my initial foray into a stylistic experiment with a traditional underpainting + digital "overpainting." Secondly, it was the first of my TIME Magazine self-assigned illustrations. When I have a free day, I will assign myself a TIME cover story. Thirdly, it was the first in a long stretch of voluminous output that continues today. I made the decision to continuously and relentlessly generate new work every week with the end goal to master my "game." Whenever I (or others) learn anything, it mostly comes from sheer repetition -- identifying the patterns, understanding the whys and wheres of these patterns -- inside and out -- and finally, being able to manipulate the patterns and let your voice find you. It sounds much easier than it is, but my credo is keep moving forward. Win or lose, I get closer to my goal, and a new piece of the puzzle emerges. For any budding illustrators out there reading, give that a try. It's a solid recipe.

So, the story of the TIME issue was of JFK, and what we can learn from his time in office. This is a fairly straightforward portrait, but upon completion, something nice emerged -- a sort of golden glowing deity feeling stemming from the colors, the sculptural form and shape of his face, and his youthfulness, coupled with the Kennedy aura. As I tend to do, the palette is 90 percent warm with a touch of cool. In this case the cool can be found in his shirt collar and the subtle green shocks in his hair.

My experimentation with a traditional underpainting combined with a digital overpainting stemmed from my curiosity. Could I get where I wanted to go quicker and easier by introducing Photoshop? So, being somewhat nimble with Photoshop, I thought to give it a try. Many illustrators do this in some form or other -- often times digitally coloring black and white linework. But, I would hazard not too many do it this way.

It's all pixels, right?


No comments: