Saturday, January 3, 2009
John Elway was the quarterback for the Denver Broncos from 1983-1999, winning Superbowls XXXII and XXXIII in '98 and '99, and voted the Superbowl MVP of XXXIII. In 2004, he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Having attended the Kansas City Art Institute in the early '90s, I was required to not be a fan of the Broncos. As a fan of the Chiefs, I watched in consternation as Elway would lead the Broncos through many a last minute charge for winning scores, sometimes against the Chiefs. It's easy to forget Kansas City had a few decent teams in the '90s -- failing to do much once reaching the playoffs, but that's all stuff for my non-art blog.
This painting was part of the 2008 NFL Heroes series for The Upper Deck Company.
It was actually the first painting I completed for the series. It was, more accurately, the first, and not the first. I did start with John Elway, but as I motored my way through my roster of paintings, and found my groove, I decided I could do better with John.
It doesn't happen very often -- that I re-paint an illustration -- but in this case, I had a bit of extra time. And, I couldn't turn out something substandard, especially if I had an opportunity to make it right.
In particular, I felt I could add a bit more spontaneity (and a change of color) to the background. I also thought I could handle the jersey better -- more life, form, and color in the shadow areas. In addition, I had locked into, through repetition, what I thought was a cool way to handle white jerseys that I hadn't figured out in that first attempt.
White jerseys, red, black, and blue ones...it all became a science in color choice and in layering my washes over a textured canvas that accepts paint much differently than the illustration board I typically work with.
So, re-paint, I did.
And, posting, I am.
It was a very fun project, and one for which I am very grateful for the opportunity to have participated.