Fortune Teller Illustration for a Hotel Magazine

lodging_predictiveinsights_detailMy illustration for this month’s Lodging Magazine accompanies an article on predictive maintenance. Because hotel profits depend on providing comfort and convenience day-in and day-out to their many customers, it is all-important to maintain room amenities and essential machinery, such as heating, air-conditioning, door locks and washing equipment. The maintenance staff must therefore know when to replace worn fixtures or parts before they break down, to keep equipment at top performance with no interruptions.

The editor suggested a fortune teller theme, so I sketched a medium and some maintenance workers peering over a crystal ball. Inside the sphere I drew various hotel equipment and repair pieces floating around –

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The editor approved it as is, so I traced it onto cold press illustration board, drew in the characters in prisma pencil and painted it with acrylic washes. The finished seance, calling forth the spirits of departed hotel machinery, is below.

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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.

 

 

 

My Latest Illustration for a Hotel Magazine

I was assigned to illustrate a Lodging magazine article that explained strategies for hotel staff to recognize signs of disruptive or nefarious activity among room renters, and head it off before it becomes a problem. The process is called Behavioral Detection and Analysis, or BDA.

The editor suggested the idea of a toolbox, since terms like intuition, visibility, closed circuit TV and signage represent ‘tools’ that hotel staff can use to be aware of disruptive activity. But tools enclosed in a box would not make the best illustration, so I decided to draw them on a pegboard to open the scene up. I sketched a hotel employee handing out the tools to other staff members.

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With a few suggestions from the editor, I went directly to the finished illustration, using prisma pencil and acrylic washes on cold press illustration board –

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Illustrated Promo for a Comedy Show

I’ve written a couple times before about my son Tom doing standup in NYC, after his day job is over. He and a friend are putting together a lineup of comedians they know, to fill an evening at a bar in the Bowery called Von, and Tom asked me to produce a graphic for advertising purposes. I quickly sketched him and Meghan Frank, who will emcee the night, and redrew them on the computer using the mouse, for a deliberately chunky,  quirky style.

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Luckily they both have bold elements to their ‘looks,’ so even without facial details these caricatures are recognizable!

Talk on Etsy for New Hope Art League

etsy_banner_screenshotI’ll be speaking on Etsy for Artists on Tuesday, April 24, starting at 7:00 pm with the New Hope Art League. It will be at St. Martin of Tours Church school, 1 Riverstone Circle, New Hope.  The meeting is free and open to the public.

Original artwork is one of the main categories of items sold through Etsy. I’ve been selling my illustrated greeting cards on Etsy  – at my shop AchillesPortfolio –  for about 9 months now; so far I’ve found Etsy a good low cost platform for art selling.

I will explain basic steps in starting an Etsy shop for selling artwork, so if you are thinking about opening a shop, you can get a foundation in what’s involved. I’ll also share the information I have found through research and trial and error, that helps bring more viewers to an Etsy shop. Please join us!

My Illustration for Cultivating a Culture

My latest illustration for Lodging magazine deals with ways to keep hotel work environments positive and free of harassment for employees. The editor did not send me the full article but read me the gist of it and its keywords, and she suggested ‘building’ a culture with employees stacking blocks; I sketched that quickly and also tried a sketch of employees growing a garden, which they liked better.

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Lucky I’ve done a lot of work for Burpee Seed company! I’ve drawn plenty of garden scenes for their catalogs over the years, that’s why I thought the ‘teepee’ structure, made with poles and runner bean plants, would work in this scene. I tightened up the drawing and sent them a rough color sketch –

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And then transferred it to illustration board, drew it with prisma pencil and painted in with acrylic paint washes.

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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.