Friday, April 3, 2009

Jose Reyes of the New York Mets

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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blueblood said...

I tend to work fairly small for the most part-8x10 or 11x14. This has been out of necessity – to fit the whole image on my scanner. It really forces me to focus on simplifying the image and draw only the most essential lines. Definitely not a master, but it is fun. That said, I am amazed at the detail you still packed in this one. Looks great! By the way, I saw an ad you had in Commarts Mag amongst other Altpick artists (or something). I'd recognize your Hillary image anywhere!

Allan Burch said...

Thanks for your comment, Mark. Yup, that's my Hillary piece. I'm hoping to see that ad start paying dividends.

Working small does force me to simplify, too. It's a good way to step out of one's comfort zone -- always a positive thing.

Hope all is well!

Maestro said...

Great work!!

Allan Burch said...

Thanks, Maestro!

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