Thursday, October 01, 2009

Paint-By-Number



I'm revealing my dark secret- all my work is actually paint-by-number! I discovered a vast catalog of unused P-B-# illustration at a rummage sale and have fabricated an entire career out of my lucky find!

Actually, this is the upcoming cover of Hemispheres, the United Airlines in-flight magazine. I did one for them a few months back (giant panda with cute sailboats, etc.) The topic was awesome, the revitalization of New Orleans. But, I had to put the tendency to draw disasters in my back pocket. You may not be aware of this, but in-flight magazines are mandated to be incredibly perky.




My favorite two ideas above.
The first a play on 'Re-NEW ORLEANS' (probably a trite play on words by now) with colorful parade behind French Quarter porch row. The second a paint-by-number, with the uncolored part being destroyed by the hurricane and the colored in part being restored back to glory. I thought this was a nice nod to the events of August 2005, without being too gloomy. But, even that amount of gloom was too much. So, I revised the sketch to show the band coloring the town with their music (or something.)



A shot of the pile of reference I had to track down. One hard task: create a true sense of an environment you really aren't able to see first hand. For something as iconic as the French Quarter, you really have to know what you are drawing.



It was something of at trick to get the image to appear like it was being colored in when the way I work involves black lines (not blobs of color shapes like a traditional P-B-#). I was really concerned it wasn't working about halfway through the inking... then started using more black and it popped out. Without all the solid blacks, the blue lines just looked like they were turning into black.

8 comments:

Sam said...

so thats what you meant by paint-by-colors. Awesome!

Melanie said...

Umm, I think this is my John Hendrix. Louisiana is my home state after all. I LOVE it and believe me I have seen some art work of New Orleans. And of course, it reveals what I have known all along that you just paint by number.

Stephen Crotts said...

Two of my favorite things coming together - Hendrix drawing and one of my hometowns!

Harris Hammersmith said...

Great idea. That's one concept that is definitely outside the box. Great job, keep it up.

Ricardo said...

Brilliant

David said...

You are one smart dude.

Lauren Castillo said...

Beautiful piece, John!

Wilson Swain said...

I hate to tell you this...again, but you, sir, are perky; disasters or no. It's a good thing, though.

Love the painting. I need a copy.