Monday, January 21, 2013

The Tallest Illustrations

I am just finishing up one of the tallest illustrations I have ever done. The above artwork is for he Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge. This piece will be reproduced as a growth chart poster and will measure 18" x 72". Aside from a number of pieces of mine that have been blown up for billboards, buses and banners, this is one of the few pieces I have done with the express purpose of being printed LARGE. This meant I had to consider the smaller details like the cars and people on the bridge below when rendering things.

I created a similar poster a few years back for this same client who also oversees the giant redwood forest at Muir Woods which incidentally, was the very first illustration I ever painted in Photoshop. So, this was not altogether new territory for me but it has still been a bit of a challenge. I wanted it to be crisp and accurate to the architecture without it feeling to graphic and posterized or looking too much like a photo.  I hope I have struck the right balance.

I took a few artistic liberties including making the bridge structure slightly taller to fit the  format, removing some of the extraneous ladders, leaving off all the thousands of rivets that polka dot the bridge surface and most importantly, giving the bridge a fresh flawless paint job (which I understand it could use in a few places. And yes, those are some huge pelicans. I am still awaiting word on whether my painting matches the distinctive "Golden Gate Red" of the bridge closely enough. If not, a few digital adjustments will probably do the trick. Times like that make me grateful for Photoshop.

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