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.

Logos for a Theater

The creative folks at TAFE (Theater Arts for Everyone, in York, PA) have decided on their 2019 season of shows, and requested I design a 2-color logo for each. The simplicity of the logos makes it easy for them to produce affordable t-shirts, with the logos imprinted, for the casts. (These logos are copyrighted; please contact me if you would like to lease them)

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A Stone Soup Thanksgiving

Years ago I drew this little scene for a play based on the folk tale Stone Soup.  In Stone Soup an old woman sets a large pot of water to boil on a fire outside, putting nothing more than a large stone in the water.  She diligently stirs the pot and as villagers pass by she explains this will be the most delicious soup when it is cooked – and if they would like to try it, they should throw in some carrots or potatoes or spices to contribute. One by one the villagers add a few of their own vegetables to the pot and when it’s done they all share in the scrumptious hot stew full of the shared fruits of their labor. (Though they don’t all realize the stone had nothing to do with it!)

So I wish you all a Stone Soup Thanksgiving – a bountiful day, full of shared gifts and warm hearts!

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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:

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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!

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.

 

 

 

Accepted into Phillustration 9

Every year the Philadelphia Sketch Club, historically the oldest club for artists in the country, holds a juried illustration exhibit. I am pleased that three illustrations I submitted for the show have been accepted.

Two are small pieces from children’s book Let’s Visit New HopeWindow Shopping and New Hope Train Station.  While the delightfully turreted train station building has been depicted many times in paintings of this popular tourist area, mine may be the only one drawn for children. I put in the ‘Father of New Hope,’ Benjamin Parry, playing the role of conductor.

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I painted these in acrylic paint on illustration board, with a little prisma pencil. The authors of the book, Gayle Goodman and Roy Ziegler, loved the 1960s look of children’s book illustrator M. Sasek, and I modeled my style for the book on his classic art.

The third piece that was accepted is my illustration for the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s last production, which included two short operettas, Cox and Box and Trial by Jury.

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Trial by Jury is a British comedic operetta in which a judge, who is hearing a breach of contract case, falls in love with the pretty plaintiff himself. In Cox and Box, another short operetta, two men unwittingly live in the same flat – they don’t realize it because one works all day and one works all night. (Until, of course, one gets a day off.) This illustration was also painted in acrylic paint on illustration board.

The Phillustration 9 exhibit has an opening reception November 19th from 2 pm to 4 pm, and the exhibit is up until November 25 at the Philadelphia Sketch Club, 235 S. Camac St, Philadelphia.

Simple Websites

website_screenshotsI created my own AchillesPortfolio website on WordPress, which has been a blessing since I can easily update my blog and site pages myself. It took a little time to learn but WordPress makes it fairly easy to develop a site with no coding experience. From time to time I am asked to create websites for small businesses and, as long as they are indeed fairly simple, I can build them fairly quickly on WordPress.

I presently manage two sites other than my own – one for local landscape painter Ned Jordan, whose paintings of my local area, the Jersey shore and the Maine coast I really find beautiful.  The other is for composer/librettist Misha Dutka.  I met Misha through the Bucks County Gilbert & Sullivan Society and a while back I illustrated the promotional pieces for his opera for children. He is promoting his newest work, a grand opera titled Liebovar, to opera companies and agents, and wanted a basic website to which he can direct people to view his resume of work.

I recommend taking a look at these two talented artists – through their websites!