Poster Art for ‘The Sorcerer’ Musical

Every year I design the poster for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s musical comedy and this year’s June operetta is Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Sorcerer. I love the wacky plot of this show, which is about a sorcerer in Victorian England who is asked to create a love potion that an entire town partakes of, with chaotic and comic results. It strikes me as singularly funny that instead of a cauldron like Shakespeare’s witches brew their potions in, this very proper society sorcerer brews his in a porcelain pot of tea!

I was lucky to be at an early costume fitting for the actor playing the title role, so I took photos of him in costume for reference when drawing, and they even had the large teapot that will be his prop in the show. I knew the kind of pose I wanted for the figure and started with pencil sketches –

I put some rough color on the sketched figure and placed him on the poster page, with the text that will go around him, based on previous posters, and drew in the background roughly with a digital gradation, markers & colored pencils, to get a rough design of the page.

I refined my line drawing of the figure and did more detail on the digital color –

I worked on the title logotype next, to shape it around the sorcerer’s arm & umbrella. I used a fun typeface called “Island of Misfit Toys, ” although I played with the letter shapes a bit, stretching and adding some curls, to balance things out.

I drew the cloud emanating from the teapot digitally and put the figure in place –

and then dropped in the title logotype and added some more magical swashes and particles circling the Sorcerer and the cloud, for the finished art.

This promises to be a terrific show, by the way, I recommend everyone comes to see it! Tickets go on sale April 15, through the website.

Two New Year’s Business Greeting Cards

I illustrated New Year’s cards for two businesses to mail to their clients, and both asked for caricatures of their staff in the artwork. These businesses feel it is a nice way for their customers to put a face to the voice they hear on the phone when they call; and since the cards are drawn, they are a bit more fun and even whimsical than a photo would be. (I’ve also gotten comments that my drawings make people look younger than they are in real life, which everybody likes!)

The first was for LifeTime Asset Management in Raleigh, NC. They wanted their staff toasting the New Year at a party, so i first pencilled in a rough composition of the 9 figures raiding glasses.

I tightened that up and drew specific faces in, and the company logo on the balloons, for a better rough.

I printed off a copy of that & colored it in roughly for the color comp, which I sent them for approval.

Once I got the ok I traced the drawing onto illustration board and started painting it in – I snapped this photo below while I was still laying in the basic colors.

And here is the completed art, with celebratory confetti added in, which appeared on the front of their card.

The second New Years card was for Kohlhepp Investment Advisors here in PA. They are a family-run business and everyone has a great sense of humor – if you look at past Kohlhepp cards on my blog you’ll see they’ve had me draw the team in many funny, unique situations. This year did not disappoint – with the bullish economy they decided on the great concept of the whole team running with the bulls! I sent them two very rough sketches, asking if the two women in the firm want to be right in there with the bulls or not – they answered of course they do!

I tightened up the drawing –

and did a rough color sketch

They requested Ed Sr. to have a more active pose on the bull, so I changed that, then drew it on illustration board in prisma pencil, painted in acrylic washes, and added some dust clouds in chalk, for the finished art.

Phillustration Award

Every year the Philadelphia Sketch Club, historically the oldest club for artists in the country, holds a juried illustration exhibit, Phillustration. I am thrilled that one of mine was awarded second prize in the show this year.

The illustration I painted for Lodging Magazine, Office Churn, was among many other creative and colorful pieces in a show I highly recommend visiting. The exhibit runs thru November 24 and Sketch Club hours are Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun 1 PM – 5 PM and the venerable brick building that houses the Club is at 235 South Camac Street, Philadelphia PA. their website is http://sketchclub.org/ I also congratulate Joe Kulka, whose Smokey Bear art took top honors in the Advertising/ Institutional category. Sketch Club President Rich Harrington, a terrific illustrator in his own right, warmly welcomed the crowded room full of artists and emceed the reception with plenty of good humor.

My New Yorker cartoon was also accepted into the show, and I got to chat with John O’Brien, a creator of many many New Yorker cartoons and covers, at the reception, as well as Eric Fowler, the archivist at the Society of Illustrators in New York. A number of other Bucks County Illustrators Society members were accepted into this show, including Lauren Walsh, Joe DeVito, Joe Kulka, Piya and Christina Wannachaiwong (who also ‘exhibited’ their adorable new baby boy at the show), Mark Schaeffer and Dennis Wise. A few snapshots of our BCIS members’ work from the show:

Caricature branding

My friend Roberta Fortune commissions me to do a caricature of her for practically every holiday that comes along, and she uses these illustrations to brand her events as The Spa Lady, wherein she helps clients relax their lives with essential oils, wellness products and yoga. I drew a black/white caricature of her recently and thought I’d post that and some of the previous holiday caricatures, which all show off her clever marketing and effusive and fun personality.

My recent drawing, showing her with some fragrant burning sage –

and some of the previous holiday-themed drawings (click to enlarge):

Gilbert & Sullivan Operetta Prints

I first saw a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta on television in the 1980s, when the wonderful Clive Revill played Koko in a BBC production of The Mikado. I was floored over how ingenious the patter song lyrics were, and how truly funny the humor was for something written a hundred years earlier. And the music itself was utterly sumptuous! I listened to as many G&S records as I could find in our local library – but since this was in pre-internet days, that’s about as far as my Savoy education went.

About 12 years ago my husband (who had been in HMS Pinafore years back) and I heard a Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society was forming right here in our town, so we checked it out right away. Since then we’ve been involved in and entertained by many of these delightful musicals; and it is apparent many others in our area appreciate the madcap plots, colorful characters and buoyant music of these operettas too.

For the Bucks G&S Society I’ve created 8 illustrations so far of their productions, and now by request of a G&S fan I’ve made 8″ x 10″ color prints of each. These full color prints are on heavy, partially-recycled paper and printed in the USA. The prints are $8.00 each and may be ordered by emailing me on my Contact page for info on shipping and payment method. A discount price of $55.00 is available for a complete set of 8 prints.

If any G&S groups would like to lease my copyrighted images for their posters and promotional items, please send me a message on my Contact page for leasing information. The 8 images are shown on my new G&S page – click HERE – and all artworks are (c) Pat Achilles.

Dorothy Parker Illustration

The inaugural issue of Neshaminy magazine, which I wrote about in my previous post, also includes a poem written about the renowned writer, wit and poet Dorothy Parker, who lived in Pipersville, Bucks County in the 1930s and 40s. The editors asked me to create an illustration of Parker with some specifics mentioned in the poem. I tried several sketching styles but settled on one that leans toward a fashion illustration look, which seemed to work best because, while the poem deals with her wit and writing, it also mentions her smart style and elegance.

The finished illustration below is in ink wash.

Art in Progress for ‘Pirates of Penzance’

I’m buckling up the buccaneers for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society‘s production of “The Pirates of Penzance” in June – here’s a detail of the panoply of characters in one of my all-time favorite shows –

I have yet to paint in the background and then plop it all into place with the information details below it.

This show is an operetta, which means it is mostly sung, but don’t let that put anyone off; it is a VERY funny show, in addition to having magnificent music. (And, my husband does a wonderful turn as the Major-General!) The cast of about 25 singers will be accompanied by the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Orchestra, and the show performs Friday June 14 at 8 pm, Saturday June 15 at 2 and 8 pm and Sunday June 16 at 2 pm. The location is Delaware Valley University, 700 East Butler Avenue, Doylestown, in the Life Sciences Auditorium. Want to buy tickets early and save money over the price of tickets at the door? Just go HERE to order online.

Business Birthday Card

Every year I am requested to illustrate a birthday card that Kohlhepp Investment Advisors sends to their clients on the client’s birthday. This year the idea of a hot air balloon ride was suggested, and as always I draw the five principals at Kohlhepp involved in the scene.

I started with a rough pencil sketch –

and when approved, tightened up the likenesses in another sketch

And penciled in a rough color sketch

before painting the finish, below, in acrylic washes on illustration board, with a charming birthday wish inside the card.

The Man Who Came to Dinner Illustration

I recently went through my Big File of Past Illustrations and came across some fun ones from before I had a blog, so herewith:

manwhocame_wp

I drew this in pen & ink for the poster for Town & Country Players’ production of the screwball comedy by George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart. One of my all-time favorite shows!

Bucks County Illustrators Society exhibit “Fantasy Tales” at Cabrini University

piedpiperfinish96We are happy to announce that Cabrini University in Radnor, PA, has asked BCiS to mount our Fantasy Tales exhibit in their Gorevin Gallery. Our show will run through April 8. We invite the public to join us at the opening reception next Thursday, March 15 from 4:30 – 6:30 pm (it was originally scheduled for earlier in March but the large snowstorm and power failures forced us to change the date). Cabrini University is located at 610 King of Prussia Road, Radnor, PA, and the Gorevin Gallery is in their Holy Spirit Library building.  A campus map can be seen HERE,

For the Fantasy Tales theme, each illustrator chose a story or excerpt from a story that has elements of fairy tale, supernatural or fantastical events, and created an illustration to accompany the story. The artwork in Fantasy Tales encompasses a wide range of illustration styles among BCiS illustrators,  and varies from traditional media to digital to combinations of both.  The stories chosen span classic fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella to a Native American Folk Tale to the epic King Kong saga. BCiS produced a book of the exhibit with the artwork and each illustrator’s biography, available for purchase by emailing BCiS at bcillustrators@gmail.com.

The show includes artwork by Joe DeVitoGlenn ZimmerJames BennettMonika HinterwaldnerGil Cohen, Katie Maxwell, Joe KulkaPiya WannachaiwongChristina Wannachaiwong, Rich Harrington, Becca Haushalter Klein, Rebecca Rhodin, Marie ThresherPam Convery- Hamilton , Dan Fione, Deb HoeffnerKim Kurki and Pat Achilles, and the exhibit was coordinated at Cabrini by Jeanne Komp and Nicholas Jacques.

Here are a few other events involving BCiS members coming up:

Etsy Round Table for Artists. Wednesday March 14 from 6:30 to 8 PM at Phoenix Art Supplies & Framing,  (1810 S. Easton Rd. Doylestown – they are on Rte 611, just a little north of Edison-Furlong Rd.). Pat Achilles will lead a free round table discussion on ‘Etsy for Artists’.  Pat has had an Etsy shop for her illustrated greeting cards for a while and finds Etsy a low-cost platform for selling art. She’ll begin the meeting explaining steps on starting an Etsy shop, so if you are considering creating one you’ll learn the basics.Then she’ll open it up to discussion & questions. The hope is that other artists who do Etsy will attend and share their experiences as well. Phoenix asks you to call to let them know you are coming, only so they can have enough chairs for everyone. So if you think you’ll come, just let them know at 215-345-0980 – the event is free. (And if you need any art supplies, Margaret told me the register will be open)
 
Bucks Fever Art Exhibit. This exhibit kicks off the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce ‘Bucks Fever’ cultural season. Submission deadline is March 20. The theme for this year’s show is ‘Black & White’ in any medium, and the exhibit itself will run have an Opening Reception Thursday, April 26, 2018 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at The Bridges at Warwick, 1600 Almshouse Road, Jamison PA 18929.  The Exhibition continues through May 10, 2018, 11am – 5pm (daily), 10am – 3pm (weekends). Admission to the event: FREE. Information: 215-348-3913.  All info is at  http://centralbuckschamber.com/bucksfever/byersart.cfm 
Rich Harrington Exhibit in Lambertville.  Rich’s paintings are featured at The Final Four (4X4 Winter Group exhibit series) with work by Laura Rutherford RennerJane Adriance and Joseph DeFay. The show is March 8 to April 1, with an opening reception: Saturday, March 10, 2-6 pm .  Gallery Hours: Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sunday 11:00 am – 6:00 pm or by appointment.  At the Artists’ Gallery, 18 Bridge St., Lambertville, NJ. 609-397-4588contact@lambertvillearts.com  
 
Charles Santore Podcast and Exhibit. There is a great podcast interview of Charles Santore at https://soundcloud.com/woodmereart/santore-podcast . The Santore exhibit is at the Woodmere Art Museum, Chestnut Hill, now through May 13. To see the catalog of this exhibit go to https://woodmereartmuseum.org/explore-online/catalogues/ and click on ‘view catalog’ under the Santore heading.