Saturday, January 3, 2009

John Elway of the Denver Broncos

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 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.


Charisse said...

I have to say this is my favorite of all your paintings. :) Not because it's "better" than any others, but because Elway is my idol! You are so very gifted and your art is amazing!!

maestro said...

I am working on some vine charcoal portraits. What paper and color was your portrait of the woman that you posted on April 27, 08. nice work.

I seem to have good luck with white Bienfang drawing paper that is middle weight. If the paper has too much tooth, vine charcoal does not seem to work well.

Allan Burch said...

Maestro --

Thanks for the kind words.

I used white Canson Mi Teintes paper, with the dimpled, textured side up, for that portrait.

I like the texture of that paper because it adds a bit of a unique look and takes away just enough "smoothness."

Allan Burch said...

Charisse --

Thanks so much for your very kind words!!

Flydesign said...

Hello fellow artist, haha!
Caught your comment the other day and almost forgot about that I had a blog, haha. I was really busy towards the end of 2008 and then went on holiday for about three weeks. Was really awesome and just relaxed until Christmas hit and then really had no time to sit down and get some artwork done :(.

Eager to say Happy New Year Allan and I’m sure it will be a good one from what you have been posting as of late. For me, I hope to learn more then ever and enjoy my artwork to its full extent.

Here is supporting each other in 2009!