Friday, May 10, 2013

Day 8 & 9 of 30/30 Marketing Your Art Challenge - Demonstration

The challenge for the Wednesday's Leslie Saeta Challenge didn't exactly pertain to me (yet) - but it is a good one. When you sell a painting mark it in some way on your site either by posting SOLD or a red dot. People do like to buy from a an artist who is selling work. Customers like to see that an artist is selling.

Thursday's challenge was to post either video or photos of your work as it progresses.
For this, I've chosen to show you the process for the mermaid image/poster for the Great South Bay Music Festival.
The client and I start off by looking at old concert posters from the 60s & 70s (We like a couple of books, but our favorite is The Art Of Rock. We get composition and color ideas and discuss how we can adapt those ideas to the festival and the mermaid.

This year we really liked this poster by Bob Masse from 1967. He does some really nice work, and I can see he got his inspiration from the Czechoslavakian artist Alphonse Mucha (below).

(Left ) We hone in on one or two and I go back and do some sketches. After more discussion about what works, what doesn't, we decide on a direction. We liked the idea of the mermaid down the middle, with room on either side for information.
In this case, we liked the image, but there was no major female headliner, 
so we'll save her for another time.

(Right) So, I sketched something closer to the Masse poster. I took a picture, and brought it into InDesign so that I could lay type on top and get a feel for how much room I would need. 

Then I did a stronger drawing of the mermaid. I'll draw in the festival grounds separately. Because this image gets used in a variety of ways, different size ads with different proportions, I've found that it's advantageous to have the major elements moveable.
I traced it onto hot press Aches watercolor paper. I use watercolor and colored pencil on hot press for my illustration projects because its smooth surface and durability allows me to get the fine details right. 
I fill in large areas with watercolor and the go back in an work on the finer details with colored pencil.

I had some real issues with her face. You can see the evolution of her left eye. I had to scrape it away with an exacto blade each time and rebuild the area with watercolor ground (Golden). I even used a magnifying glass to really get in and get the detail right.

And here she is finished.

After finishing the mermaid, I moved on to the festival ground. As you can see, I traced the shape of the mermaid into the grounds, so that I could see where she was going and get a sense of scale for the people and the stages, the bay in the background and all the way back to the city skyline. 
Drawing all those little people does present a challenge - making them all individual - deciding on their clothing, hair and what they are doing - dancing, pointing, eating, watching, and performing.
I created a sky on a large piece of Arches cold press watercolor paper, using mask to create the white stars. I then scan all the pieces and assemble in Photoshop. I duplicated the area of the crowd that overlaps the mermaid and silhouetted them. The moon is from the original mermaid painting, seven years ago. I like being able to reference the old image in the new one. (I also created a bikini top in a layer for the G-Rated /Public version.)

I drew the border in black and white, scanned it and outlined and colored it it in Illustrator. The poster is then assembled in InDesign. There's a lot of type to lay out, and there will be sponsor logos to include, so this is a program to assemble everything in.
Here it is very close to finished... just a few little adjustments left.

Hope you enjoyed this "how I did it" demonstration. 

I'll be hopefully posting another Friday installment when I get Day 10's challenge.