Friday, October 9, 2009

it's in the cards

There's nothing like an old friend.

Here I am with Doug Smith, fellow illustrator, and the first friend in the field. We met at a Graphic Artists Guild event in Boston in 1980, when he gallantly offered the empty seat next to his. It was my first foray into a professional workshop and no small thing to find a friendly face. Now, he is a neighbor on Peaks Island and recently referred me for a very fun project with Portland Stage Company.

Doug and I are both illustrating posters for upcoming productions. Mine is The Gin Game by D.L. Coburn, who won a Pulitzer Prize for the drama between two aging players in a retirement home.

I always start with very loose scribbles like these:

And then I used head shots provided by the marketing director, Carole Harris, who has to be one of the most elegant and congenial clients ever.

This is actress Christine McMurdo Wallis, who plays the weepy but calculating Fonsia.

And this is J. Patrick McNamara, who plays Weller, a sore loser at gin.

So then I did tighter sketches. I did 8 and these are a few that proved usable in part.

As is often the case when presenting multiple visual solutions, there are elements from one or another than merge in a final. This was the final sketch.

I had fun playing with the collaged card pattern and going bold with unexpected color
for the final illustration. And Karen Lybrand, the amazing maestro of graphic materials for Portland Stage, pulled it all together for the poster.

I stopped in the other day to pick up some posters and cards. Can't wait for opening night on October 30!

Thanks to Doug for connecting me with a fabulous organization, and thanks to Portland Stage for featuring local illustration to promote their theater offerings.



Wouter Bruneel said...

I saw the poster in a South Portland window and immediately wrote down your name. And now i see you are a member of MEIC, the group i just joined. Love the delicate linework and the textures.



jamie peeps said...

Welcome to the MEIC, Wouter! I look forward to meeting you at some collective gathering soon.