New Yorker cartoonist Michael Maslin writes interesting and wide-ranging articles all about the cartoonists past and present of that iconic magazine on his blog Ink Spill. I wrote a bit about Ink Spill on a previous post here.
Michael is currently running a feature on his blog, ‘Cartoons in the Time of Coronavirus,’ and he has kindly posted my drawing of last week. If you need a chuckle during these trying times or are a fan of the art of the New Yorker as I have always been, please take a look. Also note the link in the left column of the blog page, “New Yorker Cartoonists A-Z” which lists every single cartoonist ever in the magazine and has bios of all the greats.
Many thanks to Michael, for this awesome compendium of the wit and urbanity of the New Yorker – again, I invite you all to check it out here.
A recent commission of mine was to make illustrations for a novel written by a middle school student. The student has ADHD and is also a gifted and eager writer. He writes insightfully about fitting in with middle school culture.
After reading some chapters and poems that comprise the book I decided to create a sketch for one poem that is set under a tree – its theme seemed to encompass the message of the book. I thought it could be used inside the book as a page illustration with the poem, and perhaps could be used for the cover as well.
I designed my rough pencil sketch looking down from above the main character under the tree, so it would work on a page and also with the title if needed. I hand-lettered the title with ink and brush.
The family of the author liked the image and wanted it for the cover, but thought some extra middle schoolers should be added. I drew a circle of friends separately –
and dropped them into the tree scene.
Then I colored the art digitally and reversed out the text – the finished book cover is below.
The topic of my monthly illustration for Lodging Magazine was updated to reflect the current health issue around the world, the corona virus.
While I did not get to read the latest article, I was briefed by the editor that the story would explain how a hotel can manage during a pandemic, including how to keep hotels clean, how to manage with a skeleton crew, what to do if a guest is sick, and what to do if the supply chain breaks down. She suggested a war room type of scene.
I started that with a rough pencil sketch –
and added tones to suggest the dramatic lighting of a war room –
The editor approved so I did a quick color sketch by printing out a copy of the sketch & using colored pencils.
After this I transferred the drawing to illustration board, redrew outlines in prisma pencil, and painted it in with acrylic washes. The finished art is below.
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.
If you buy a lot of books as gifts because you know kids & adults who love to read, you might want to have a pack of my ‘For Someone Who Devours Books’ so you can tuck a funny notecard into their gift package. My notecards are available in my Etsy shop HERE.
While you’re at it, take time to sit down and start reading a book yourself today! The last one I read was the children’s book The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, a charming read for kids and grown-ups, and I’m in the middle of a book about Ernest Shepard, who illustrated A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh books, also a delightful journey.