Jose Reyes of the New York Mets is part of the 2008 MLB Masterpieces series of baseball cards from the Upper Deck Company.
Of those I created for the series, this illustration is one of my favorites.
In addition to the rust and green color palette and active composition -- both of which appeal to me -- the three figures bring an interesting story to the viewing experience.
He seems to be safe, up there.
The original is an acrylic on canvas painting, at a size of 8 inches x 10 inches. Working at a smaller size poses a few challenges. The first, and most important one, becomes rendering a likeness at a diminished size. In this painting, the heads are about 1 inch tall.
Proportions, angles, and value patterns are the key. These are, obviously, important keys when working large, but, when those are lost at a tiny size, it becomes especially hard to sell the likeness.
I also focused on keeping the focal point on Mr. Reyes. You'll find the lightest lights and darkest darks reserved for him, as well as the most detail. The umpire and Mr. Randa are ever so slightly less detailed and toned back. The back wall and crowd become more graphic shapes, with the layering and peeking through of paint creating the illusion of more detail.
Allan Burch is an award-winning illustrator and portrait artist, providing solutions for editorial, book, advertising, and institutional projects.
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