Monday, July 12, 2010

American Express Project Finish

Salt Lake City - 12.5" x 12.5" acrylic on illustration board
Client: American Express

After the finished drawing was approved, I began the final painting. For several years I have been using what I call a "digital under painting" on a lot of my work. Basically, I take my final drawing and give it some color in Photoshop, establishing the basic color palette and values. I leave room for the light end of the value spectrum by keeping contrast a bit on the dark side. This allows me to bring up the brightest highlights with my paint. I printed the colored sketch out on my 13" x 19" Epson printer and mounted it on a piece of illustration board using acrylic matte medium. I use a heavy rag paper for my printouts so it won't buckle too much when I mount it. The Epson inks are pretty water stable so there is very little bleeding from this process. I then give the surface a bit of texture and start to paint right over the top with acrylic.

During the middle of this project, I was scheduled to be in New York City studying with my MFA class and knew I would need to work on this painting in the evenings at my hotel. When booking the trip, I figured that it was a good idea to save some money so I went with a sort of European type of accommodation, thinking we could deal with the whole "micro hotel" issue. Well, upon check in, classmate Val Taylor and I discovered we were booked into a broom closet with a bunk bed- bathroom down the hall. It was so small, that I could literally touch both walls of the room at the same time.

Here I am touching both walls of the NYC hotel closet...err... room

Needless to say, painting this picture cross legged on the top bunk while watching ESPN on my 6" personal TV was not my idea of ideal working conditions, but hey, I got a good story out of it. Note to the wise- go aheadspring for the big room if you ever stay at the Pod Hotel in NYC, better yet, find another hotel. I finished the painting up the day after my return and it has been such a hit, that American Express recently optioned a lucrative buyout of the remaining rights.

1 comment:

mary said...

I love the picture! It almost makes me homesick, one hour away!