Change up from Landscape painting today. We're going to revisit my early years as a hired gun illustrator. I've always enjoyed the phrase "hired gun" I must admit.
As an illustrator, I was hired to solve problems and make my employer look good. These images were created back in 98'. All of them have a screen print ready graphic look that I was into.
|Mr Spock by M Francis McCarthy|
Just for the record "Mr Spock" is copyrighted by whomever owns his likeness. I did this as a portfolio piece never intending to sell the image. It was a real challenge to get the facial shadow right. I like my coloration and over all I was pretty happy with this illustration
|Mr Meany by M Francis McCarthy|
I'm gonna call my place of employment "Jack Nightingale Artworks". A small art studio with Jack as chief designer and myself art directing. I also did many of the illustrations that we're used in our designs. For me it was a dream job and I was very happy working there for quite a few years. More on that phase of my art journey in future posts
Mr Meanie is another portfolio piece. I did a lot of animals for Jack Nightingale Artworks so I thought I'd do an owl. Up to that point I'd mostly concentrated on figurative art or abstract digital art. Animals however sold well on tee shirts and so I illustrated many, many animals.
|Bear Friendly by M Francis McCarthy|
I'm proud of this illustration. Grizzly bears are fun to draw and this one owes a lot to the reference I found somewhere. All illustration relies on good reference. Don't let anyone tell you different. Back in those days we found reference at the library or in magazines.
Most illustrators had something called a morgue with all of their collected clippings. Reference was hard to come by in the pre Google image search era. Now you can find most anything with a few clicks but an illustrator should always be careful about using photography as reference without the permission of the photographer. Many artists can and do get sued.
These days I only work from my own reference and if possible I'd advise other artists to do the same. If it's not possible to get the shot you need be sure to contact the photographer. Just do it. Many will let you use things as reference for cheap or even free.