Thursday, April 30, 2009

Time Out New York: Liev Schreiber

This week's "Hot Seat" subject for Time Out New York actor Liev Schreiber, currently starring in Wolverine as Wolvie's nemesis, Sabretooth.

This was a last minute change--the original interview for this week was bumped to the following week--so I had less than 24 hrs to put this together.

Not knowing all that much about Mr. Schreiber, and not wanting to tie the portrait in too closely to the sinister, grungy look he has as Sabretooth, I went for something fairly generic, but still (hopefully) looking cool and dignified.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Angel On My Shoulder

This is another one of my fake movie posters, for a movie that exists only in my imagination.

It got started the same way an earlier poster, Two Bullets in the Chamber, did. In this case, I watched a DVD of the movie Macao, starring Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell (who has previously starred together in 1951's His Kind of Woman). I enjoyed it a lot, and then I enjoyed it all over again when I started the film over, this time listening to the audio commentary track by my friend Eddie Muller and the film's screenwriter, Stanely Rubin.

So as I was listening to the commentary, I thought, what if Mitchum and Russell--so good together in Macao--did a third film together? That's all it really took for me to start putting together this poster.

The original idea I had from the beginning was that the Mitchum character would be haunted in some way by Russell, and it took a couple of different tries until I hit upon the idea of having Russell in a photograph, which I thought gave the poster a unique bit of visual interest.

After I had that resolved, the title came rather easily, and then the tag line, and then eventually the rest of the poster!

Friday, April 24, 2009

From The Vault: Blink 182 - 2004

My pal and fellow artist Sean Tiffany commissioned me to do this poster, since he is/was such a huge fan of the band Blink 182.

I tried my damndest to do right by the band and their punk-y sound and look by stripping away all my usual design tics. I wanted this to be raw and sloppy, like it was done by some rabid fan in their basement somewhere.

In the end, while I think this is a good piece, its probably still too "neat" to really make it work the way I wanted (probably using professional fonts at all was my first misstep). Some habits are hard to break!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Time Out New York: Bret Easton Ellis

This week's "Hot Seat" subject for Time Out New York novelist Bret Easton Ellis, who has a new book out.

I didn't know much about the man's work--my only interaction with him at all has been through the movie adaptations of some of his novels, which to me have featured the most loathsome, despicable protagonists possible, so that's generally kept me away from ever reading any of the source material (which isn't really fair, I guess, but there you go).

So for the portrait I wanted to go kinda ghostly and empty, ending up with this very minimalist shot. I kept adding little elements to the background, but finally decided just to have the man himself in front of a field of white.

Friday, April 17, 2009

From The Vault: Robert Rubin - 2004

Last weekend, Tracy and I were watching the documentary I.O.U.S.A., which is all about the United States' massive deficits (a very good movie, btw).

Anyway, one of the talking heads in it is former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, and when I first saw him in the movie, I thought "Hey, I did a portrait of that guy!"

Usually, the portrait in question is from Time Out New York, but not in this case--no, I did the above piece for another magazine, MBA Jungle, which I believe ceased publication a few years ago (I had nothing to do with it, honest!).

I ended up doing quite a few jobs for MBAJ, and I thought this one came out pretty well. I like the angle and the colors (most of them, at least). The magazine laid some text over this, but I can't seem to find the printed version...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Time Out New York: Bernie Williams

This week's "Hot Seat" subject for Time Out New York was former Baseball player and now singer/songwriter Bernie Williams.

This is one of those times when I know absolutely nothing about the subject (I had to look up the name once TONY told me who it was), so I try and go as generic as possible for the background.

Williams has a new CD out, called Moving Forward, so I used the CD's cover art colors for the background, to help tie it together, at least on a very low-key level.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Capital G Ad Campaign, Part 12

The final two Capital G portraits--the first one was fairly straightforward, but the woman's hair color in the last portrait was a project in and of itself!

These were, of course, a huge load of work, but overall I'm very proud of the work I did for Capital G, via the Concept Farm agency, who were nothing but a pleasure to work with. I'm delighted that right after finishing these portraits, they asked me to work on a different project for a different client, which is going on right now.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Capital G Ad Campaign, Part 11

Three Capital G portraits, featuring my favorite portrait (the middle one) of all the ones I've done during this campaign.

More tomorrow!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Capital G Ad Campaign, Part 10

Between the ups and downs of my personal life and working on a lot of client jobs that haven't seen print yet, I haven't had much time to work on (as if you couldn't tell that, from the dearth of posts in the last couple of weeks).

So even though I haven't seen any of the print versions of these yet, I thought I'd post all the new portraits I did for Capital G.

I was asked to do these new portraits using realistic colors, not Cap G's corporate ones, which of course led these to looking significantly different.

More tomorrow!

Friday, April 10, 2009

From The Vault: Berry - 2003

Even though I've already mentioned this on a couple of my blogs (here and here), I felt like I couldn't let this week's From The Vault segment pass without one last word about our cat, my little pal, Berry, who passed away last week.

This was my first attempt at doing a portrait of him, and I knew it would be a huge challenge, trying to convey all of the myriad colors that made up his beautifully detailed coat using cut paper.

But I gave it a shot, and while I was happy with it at the time, I can see now that it doesn't look that much like him. The pose and the look on his face are right, but its just too simple in terms of color to really do him justice.

Later, I did another piece, this time digitally, called Attack Cat, which to me is the definitive portrait of our little guy.

We miss him very, very much.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Time Out New York: Neko Case

This week's "Hot Seat" subject for Time Out New York was singer/songwriter Neko Case, who was promoting a series of live shows in NYC.

I'm not that familiar with Case's work, so I was flying a bit blind here. Originally, I was going to have her on a totally black background, so with her black t-shirt her face and arms would pop off the background.

But then I thought, ahh, I've done that kind of thing before, why not try something different, so I just started playing around with bright colored shapes behind her, and I ended up with this--after showing it to Darlin' Tracy, she said "They look like butterfly wings."

I realized she was correct, even though that was totally accidental. I ended up liking how that looked, so I added those little black squiggly lines and then called it a day.

This ended up being one of my personal favorites from the last couple months worth of TONY portraits.

Friday, April 3, 2009

From The Vault: Bob & Joan - 1995

I've been listening to the first cut, "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'", off of Bob Dylan's new album Together Through Life (out on 4/28) over and over (and over!) this week, trying to learn all the words and whatnot, so Bob's been on my mind...I mean, even more than usual.

Most of the Bob portraits that I think are really good are already on the site, but this one--of Bob and Joan Baez--isn't too bad, either. I maybe think I could've added a background element to represent a stage or something, but...

A few years ago, someone saw this piece when I had it on my site, and they actually wanted to buy the original. I don't remember actually selling it to them, but I don't have the piece in my files, so I guess I did. I hope I got a decent price for it...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Time Out New York: John Rhys-Meyers

This week's "Hot Seat" subject for Time Out New York was actor John Rhys-Meyers, who currently stars in HBO's The Tudors.

Wanting to reference--but not too directly--his role on the show (King Henry VIII), I liked the straightforward, direct positioning of the figure, contrasted with the royal-ish looking background.

The background was originally a different color, but after messing with it for a while, I realized that purple--the color of royalty--was the perfect way to go. Done and done!