Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Breakfast at Mary's Diner

For years, a family tradition has been to set aside Wednesday morning for one-on-one breakfast with Dad. Starting with Donna, and then my daughters, oldest to youngest, we have a number of places we've visited over the years. One of them is Mary's Diner, a typical neighborhood breakfast haunt that may not make the greatest coffee but offers a cheap but good special... as long as you get there before 8 am. When I go with Emma, we usually take her Doodle-Pro (see April 4, 2009) and sketch a few faces after we're done eating. Of course, I flip over the place mat and sketch a bit while we're waiting for our order. Here's today's gallery. The two characters in the middle at the top are Emma's favorites, Mr. and Mrs. Fitz. Emma's the cute one on the lower right

Friday, April 16, 2010

Portrait Portfolio

Two years ago I taught an evening illustration class at Paier College of Art. One of my students,
Magge Gagliardi, is a very talented young illustrator. I am pleased to say she is planning on getting her MFA from University of Hartford. Last night, while having dinner with our family, she offered to take samples of my portraits to a gallery where she is showing some of her work. I decided to put together a flash presentation of portraits... a single place where I can direct people who want to see the work.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Gertrude Ederle, America's Girl

After each of our sessions together in the MFA program, we are given an illustration assignment. Normally the theme of the assignment is based on the location we have just visited. However, with our summer sessions in Hartford, the assignments take on a whole new flavor.

Murray Tinkelman gave an excellent presentation of American illustration in the 20th century. During one of his lectures, he told us we needed to pick an illustrator from 1900 to 1950 who was included in his presentations. He told us to choose a publication from that era as well as a person who was famous at the time. We then had to create a cover featuring that person in the style of the illustrator of our choosing.

I chose to emulate C. Coles Phillips. He created a style called the "fadeaway girl" that was more than a gimmick. He used the Gestalt principle of reification, also known as closure, where the eye will perceive a whole shape in an incomplete space by filling in the missing information.

The more I read about Getrude Ederle, the more I became fascinated with this strong, independent young woman (much like my wife and 4 daughters!) who was bound to not only swim the English Channel, but to also break all previous records in the attempt.

I took some liberties with the English and French coast lines in order to create the watercolor portrait of Ederle in the Phillips style. I then ran the scanned image through the color halftone filter in Photoshop to simulate the screening and muted palette that would have been used in publishing in the 1920s.