Brochure Design for a Non-Profit

I recently redesigned the season brochure for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s upcoming 2019 events. Given the outstanding photography by our resident photog Dennis Klöppel, and the excellent acting and colorful costuming our group puts together, it is a very good-looking promotional piece – take a look.

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The Society is a wonderful group of friendly and talented amateurs and professionals, and I highly recommend anyone interested to audition for their shows or come and hear the engaging music and delightful wit in every performance. You can keep apprised of upcoming events through their website or liking the group on Facebook.

I am available for design jobs such as this, please contact me through my Contact page on the menu above to chat about your company’s needs.

Russian Badgers

I’m pleased that the Lenape Chamber Ensemble again requested a fun drawing from me, for their Children’s Concert next spring. This concert will include music by Mozart, Widor and Prokofiev, played by world-class musicians who also teach the young audience about musical themes and the composers. I read a bit about Prokofiev’s life and thought the iconic St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow would provide some architectural interest in the background, since my last illustration for a concert was set in Venice for Vivaldi.

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I also discovered that Prokofiev was a noted chess player! I decided on badgers for this drawing’s main characters, and so drew a couple playing chess while others serenade them with flute, violin, viola, cello and piano, which are all featured in this concert.

Here is the sketch partially inked in – unfortunately had to change the pelican at right to a small bird, to fit in the word bubble.

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And the final all inked in – below. Should be a delightful March concert!

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My Cartoon Published

Featured

I am thrilled to announce that a cartoon I drew and submitted to the prestigious New Yorker magazine back in March has been published in this week’s issue, October 1, 2018.

https://www.newyorker.com/cartoon/a21844

“Sir, we’re getting ready to land–I’m going to need you to slide that under your seat.”

I started reading and chuckling at New Yorker cartoons in high school when my dad introduced its unparalleled humor to me. He and I shared many hours discussing our favorite gags and cartoonists, and, while Dad did land a great cartoon one time in The Saturday Evening Post, he never made it into Eustace Tilley’s grand library. He hoped someday I would. Dad passed away 8 years ago but I have the uncanny feeling he’s been pulling some strings.

Venetian Bunnies

The Lenape Chamber Ensemble will again present a delightful concert for children in November, and I was asked to draw up a fun flyer advertising it.  The concert features world-class musicians who talk to the children about patterns and themes in the music, bits about the lives of the composers, and their specific instruments; and then they play snippets of the featured compositions (they play the full versions of these pieces for two adult concerts around the same weekend). Sometimes the musicians invite the children to get up and dance in whatever way the music makes them feel. I love going to these concerts to see the little preschoolers and elementary school children’s reactions to these glorious pieces of music!

This Children’s Concert will feature works by Leclair, Telemann, Couperin, and Vivaldi; I researched the pieces to be played and the composers, and found that Vivaldi (nicknamed the ‘red priest’ because he was indeed a cleric who inherited his family trait of red hair) was born in Venice. I’ve also been listening lately to Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta The Gondoliers, which takes places in Venice, so I decided to use that picturesque city as the backdrop for my illustration for this poster.

I researched pictures of gondolas and some landmarks in Venice, like the Rialto Bridge and the domed basilicas, and roughed out a pencil sketch of a little clutch of musical rabbits floating along in a canal –

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The layout of my flyers for the Lenape Children’s Concerts is always similar, as you can see from this one and this one – they like me to hand-letter the text, so I plan the drawing around where the words will fall. I traced this pencil sketch onto bond paper using my lightbox, and inked in all the details using Faber-Castell Pitt pens.

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I highly recommend the Lenape Chamber Ensemble concerts – both the children’s and the adult ones – the lovely auditorium at Delaware Valley University is just the perfect intimate size to enjoy these wonderful artists playing gorgeous music.

Doylestown Symphonic Winds Poster

It is time for the annual – and magnificent – Doylestown Symphonic Winds concert at Delaware Valley University, and I was happy to once again create the poster for this year’s theme – Song and Dance. This delightful orchestra of brass and wind instruments, under the baton of music director Gina Lenox, assistant conductor Jack Schmidt and guest conductor Dr. Virginia Allen, will perform Lincolnshire Posy by Percy Grainger, as well as other wonderful symphonic pieces inspired by songs and dances. It is always a terrific concert, I’m really looking forward to it this Friday!

For this poster I made a rough pencil layout, then sketched folk dancers from research photos. While I sketched by hand, I ‘drew’ the final art graphically on the computer.

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My Illustration for Gilbert & Sullivan’s ‘The Yeomen of the Guard’

yeo4Every June the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society performs an operetta by their illustrious namesakes, with full theatrical effects – beautiful costuming and staging, rhapsodic music by a full orchestra, and outstanding singers who vocalize the distinctly idiosyncratic lyrics of Mr. Gilbert while giving operatic due to Mr. Sullivan’s soaring arias and choruses. It’s an experience I enjoy wholeheartedly.

yeo5While most of the duo’s operettas are predominantly comic, their most poignant and emotional work, The Yeomen of the Guard, has been chosen for this year’s show. You may be sure there is still comedy and patter songs in Yeomen, but the story rests more on the dramatic themes of courage, love and honor, and it does so with great beauty.

So instead of drawing my usual quirky stock characters bounding across oceans and peeking from behind judge’s benches, I painted a more solemn scene for this show which takes place in the time of King Henry VIII.  Solemn – but I hope a bit curious too. The director, Bob Kinney, asked for a scene with some of the main characters – the jester, Jack Point, and his betrothed Elsie Maynard, bowing to one of the sturdy Yeomen who guard the Tower of London and its prisoners. yeo6It would be a pleasant moment to illustrate if the sky were not lowering threateningly, and but for a figure lurking by the Tower wall on the right. This figure is the Headsman, ready to dispatch some poor prisoner to his unfortunate fate, and he is a menacing presence in the play.

I tried drawing several compositions to highlight the group of three and hide the Headsman a bit, before I chose to present them as if at center stage.

I made the set minimal and neutral in tone, which matches the set for this production, to bring out the colorful costumes and sky and the shadows stretching in front of them give a more serious feel to the scene. I blocked in basic color and tones using the computer. Once I had the composition set I drew the figures in more detail for a sketch to trace to illustration board.

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and then painted it using my computer-colored composition as a guide.

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I added in the shadows below them digitally, so i could gradate it to a dark background, so the white type would drop out.

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This opera, as is indicated on the poster, runs June 15, 16 and 17 at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, and it promises to be am extraordinary experience!. Further info is on the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society website here.

 

 

 

An Animal Chamber Ensemble

I’ve drew my latest flyer illustration for the Lenape Chamber Ensemble’s spring children’s concert.  I always pick some cute animals to portray the musicians in the concert, although in reality they are world-class instrumentalists who play delightful snippets of classical masterpieces for youngsters, tell stories of the composers and get the children to dance to the music. These are wonderful concerts.

lenchens_beavers_1I had never drawn a colony of beavers before so I chose them; I placed a bunch of them on a dam for their concert, and since there were only four musical instruments to include this time I added a nattily dressed beaver couple as their audience. I started with a very rough pencil sketch, and I typed the wording in on a template I’ve made – the text always follows the same format, and I hand-letter it for the finish. It makes it easier to keep straight and space right if I hand trace the letters from this template.

I scanned the first sketch and made the characters a little bigger, and realized I had mistakenly drawn a harpsichord, but it should be a piano. Then I quickly inked & lenchens_beavers_2pencilled in blacks and gray values to see where I would concentrate the most color and texture in the picture. I added in a duck flying by, announcing refreshments, which they always provide to the kids at the concert. The duck was a little too large, I reduced it for the final art.

Onto a clean sheet of bond paper I traced the lettering using my lightbox, and also lightly traced the scene in pencil. Then I used a Faber-Castell fine felt-point to ink in the characters one by one, and all the little sticks and ripples of the dam and the water. I changed the backdrop from vague rolling hills to a fir-tree forest instead, with some reflections in the water. The finished art is below.

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Again, I heartily recommend these concerts if you want to introduce a young child to the beauty and enjoyment of classical music!