Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gambling in the Locker Room



Just finished a drawing for ESPN The Magazine about the astonishingly pervasive practice of gambling in professional athletic locker rooms. A recent gambling altercation that lead to Washington Wizards superstar Gilbert Arenas bringing multiple guns into the locker room to frighten a third-stringer indicate the extreme stakes of these wagers. Superstars have been known to lose hundreds and even tens of thousands of dollars on a single game of dominos, pool and the bet-inducing card games like "Hit the Post." In this insidious betting game, when you lose, you don't just pay in your share but match the whole pot on the table.

Perhaps this visual idea seems obvious (or inevitable), but using the look and palate of Vegas was an exciting solution to explore in my sketches. I barely had 5 days for this, so I didn't have much time to look around for other ideas. The scope of the drawing would take a majority of the time. So I was eager to get started on something.



I sent a super rough idea for a quick "you're on the right track" approval. I wouldn't want to spend 6 hours solving this drawing if they hated the idea of a vegas locker-room.



Once they signed off on the concept, I had to add some new player likenesses and adjust the layout accordingly. And they took out my favorite part, that the devil was dealing the cards. All the players are specific likenesses, though none anyone would really recognize.



The final art was executed in about 36 hours (not ideal)- which did allow time for a rough color study, above (which I ended up mostly ignoring). I rarely get a chance to use a garish high-saturation palate- so I went all out. Perhaps too far out. The drawing will run across the top of a magazine spread, and their format is a big larger than most magazine- a full 10 inches wide. The full drawing will be seen at about 20 inches long. A few details below.


8 comments:

bill said...

I have always loved the work and the new site and blog read well. Thanks for all of the little glimpses into your work and life. Can't wait to see what you can do when you really learn to draw.

Dan Z. said...

Awesome. Love what you're doing with camera angle & space & scale, and those weird chess & pool set-ups. You should've titled this blog post "TRICK SHOTS".

Ben Bronstein said...

Hey John, been a fan for a few years now... first comment. Love seeing all the process work, are color studies like the one above typical for you? All the sketches are pretty fantastic, shame bout the demon.

John Hendrix said...

Bill- Thanks, I enjoyed your blog too. Nice images.

DZ- hah, yes- actually the big game in locker rooms where they lose the big dollars is "words with friends" the iphone scrabble game.

BB- I don't normally do color studies unless the piece is large and I can't really get my head wrapped around how I want to approach it. I did three for this one. The only one posted is the one I "used"...

sigallevy said...

I just went trought your blog and became a huge fan!

婉婷婉婷 said...

It's great!!.............................................

Angel said...

Great work! I'd love to hear how you scanned such a massive piece. I always have issues "patching up" scanned pieces - blur artifacts, different angles etc..
Cheers!

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