My first foray into this style of architectural portraiture. (2 words, 8 syllables.) This piece was commissioned by a friend who plans to give it to the owners of the home as a thank you gift for hosting her over the holidays. 12x18. Ink. Lots of tiles. Lots of vines. Lots of time.
A few months back, I hit a bit of a creative drought and was looking for new things to draw. In my Google image searching and Pinterest browsing, I stumbled upon a photo of Amsterdam and thought, "well, obviously." I did some more "research" (meaning I stared at pictures online for extended periods of time) and created a few sketches of fictional Amsterdam blocks with anthropomorphized animals all over the place. Many of those animals were pigs and so that sketch took on the name "Hamsterdam."
Fast forward a couple months when I'm showing the sketch to a friend and he says, "My brother loves illustrations, comics and cartoons and he lived in Amsterdam for a few years. Can I commission you to draw his building and his block like that?"
After I said "Of course!" said friend provided two things.
1) A Google streetview of the block:
2) A list of demands which included but was not limited to: The Muppets' Lew Zealand throwing fish, a pig in a squirrel suit riding a bicycle, the Hamburglar, select friends, a T-rex carrying a rolling bag into John(his brother)'s building, a pig napping in a top floor hammock (John's apartment), two friends (initialed AY and RG) smoking outside a local bar, and lots of bicycles and blazers, etc. etc. You know, the obvious stuff.
SO... the final product was just delivered to John as an early Christmas present. And while I finished this on November 2, I've been waiting to post this write-up. I'm not an incredibly patient person, so I'm really excited to finally be able to share this all.
Here's the process shown through time-lapse video, followed by the finished product and some detail images. Enjoy!
J & R were recently at a wedding in New Orleans. As artists themselves, they loved the energy, the architecture, the balconies, and the streets. So many textures and lines. So much character. And they wanted to incorporate that into a gift for their newlywed friends.
We sorted through photos, brainstormed on different ideas and finally decided on just the right scene. I ended up going through several drafts before I arrived at our finished product. This video shows the entire process from start to finish. I ultimately ended up doing another draft that I preferred, but the process was identical.
J & R, I hope your friends love it and that it hangs in their house as a reminder of one of the most important times in their lives. Thanks for trusting me with such an important gift!
I've not yet been to New Orleans. Currently, I'm studying the buildings, summarized below. The video is a time lapse capture of the entire process, recorded over two days of work. The music is none other than Arlo Guthrie performing Steve Goodman's City of New Orleans.
If you've got a project in mind for yourself or as a gift for someone else, send me an email and let me know what you're thinking. I'm fully booked up for commissions through Christmas, but we can start talking about a project for 2017 whenever you're ready.