Category Archives: Drawing

This is the coolest project I’ve worked on in a while. It’s a poster to advertise the annual Jazz Festival at Mineral Area College, where my Creative Improv counter-part, Michael Goldsmith teaches music and leads the jazz ensemble.

Why did I love this project? I could combine my love for jazz music, art and design and create something that really embodied jazz.

A bit about my design process

I spent hours sketching Delfeayo and coming up with a really loose sketch that could be incorporated into the poster. I was try to re-live this style. After much tweaking, layering and coloring it just didn’t have the right feel. Failure… but that’s OK – because it made me think about other ways to bring the ‘hand-drawn’ feel to the poster. I decided to the make the text and background elements all have a hand-drawn feel and leave the photo pretty much as is.


The above sketches were all drawn with marker on tracing paper, then scanned and layered in Photoshop to create the final, colored illustration.

Inspired by the hand-drawn feel above, I took some of my own watercolor textures and layered them in the background and over the left side of the suit jacket (subtle, eh?). Then I added some hand-drawn typefaces in various angles. I wanted it to have a bit of a haphazard, hand-created, imperfect feel.

For a while now, I’ve wanted to experiment with watercolor and Photoshop work combined into one. So, I broke out the watercolors from my college illustration course and went crazy. This is a gift I gave to my fiancée, Rebecca for Christmas.

The process was to paint a nice background on 9×12 paper with watercolor, scan that into Photoshop. Then I went to work on cutting us out of an engagment photo and placing it over the watercolor – adding various overlay effects to it. The text was added last and is made of the date we met and lyrics to a song we both love and will probably dance to at our wedding.

A few zoomed in sections are below:

overlay effect added to our photo after I utilized the pen tool to cut us out of the original photograph

DOD_BN_Sketch_Stack

Check out the product on their website 

DOD_BN_Sketch_Interior_03

They photographed the page my quote is on! Click to view it larger.

Photo Credit goes to Brand New

Brand New Sketchbook

I got my ‘mystery product’ from Brand New today. It is a miniature sketchbook to continue sketching logos. I, along with the folks at Brand New believe strongly that great design starts with a sketch. The edges of each page contain a quote from various designers who contributed to this blog post on June 11, 2009.

I’m honored to be included in this, even if it is just a small sketchbook. Thanks Armin!

Oh yeah, Brand New has redesigned their website today! Check it out.

I got an email today from someone named Armin Vit. I was hovering over ‘mark as spam’ until I read the subject line.

Brand New Mystery Product

Now, for some reason this caught my attention as not being exactly spam (don’t ask me why). So I opened it.

If I have contacted you it means that we have included your quote (in our mystery product).

I almost forgot that a few weeks ago I contributed to a discussion on Brand New’s website. The discussion simply asked ‘Why do you sketch logos?’ and can be found here.

This is what I said:

I sketch on paper rather than the computer because when I use a computer to generate ideas, even the bad comps look good since they are in a polished, clean state. I get a false-sense of completeness when I jump to the computer too quickly. Sketching your ideas on paper removes any false sense that that particular idea is good simply because it’s kerned nicely.

They have created a ‘mystery product’ which includes a select 16-24 folks’ comments on why they sketch logos. I was chosen out of the more than 200 contributers.

The email also said that they are sending me a compliment ‘mystery product’. My guess is that it’s a small book or a poster of some sort. I’ll post a picture of the mystery product when I receive it!

100_4738

In Costa Rica, I took this photo of the sunset one evening.

pier_watercolor_small

I did the watercolor on cold press illustration board and then drew the pier separately with pen/ink. I then scanned both images in and composed them in Photoshop.

pier_watercolor_bw_small

I kinda like the black and white version more than the color.

Initial sketch and final intaglio print

Initial sketch and final intaglio print

Bruce Mau is a designer from Canada. Mau runs a successful design firm in Toronto and Chicago. He wrote something called the “Incomplete Manifesto for Growth.” It is basically a list of 43 things that exemplify Mau’s style, strategy toward every project.

My motion graphics course has incorporated this manifesto into our recent video project. We were to create three 30 second videos (1-type dominant, 1-imagedominate, 1- negative space dominate) that explored a particular point from the manifesto. I chose to explore number six,‘Capture Accidents.’ 

My concept was that during the drawing process there are accidents that occurr – a misplaced line here, wrong proportions there, or smearing of pencil lead.

smearing of pencil lead

I wanted to focus on this because I’m left handed, and if you are too (both McCain and Obama are left handed!), you know that this always happens. Notebooks or sketchbooks weren’t meant for left-handed people. The idea I had was to do what the manifesto says – to capture and gather accidents and ‘ask different questions’ or create something great from that accident.

I chose to record myself drawing one of my old sketches of Jesus being persecuted and accidentally smear the pencil lead where the wood block is on the left of the drawing. But then I would turn that smear of lead into the shading of the wood block.

Below is the type dominant version for ‘Capturing Accidents’