Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The "other" Ben and Jerry

Jerry Brown and Ben Bernanke for the LA Times by Graham Smith
When I got the call to illustrate portraits of Ben and Jerry for the Los Angeles Times, I thought they meant the ice cream guys, not California's newly elected Governor Jerry Brown and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.    : )

Art Director Derek Simmons and I went straight to work figuring out how we would place the Ben and Jerry portraits in the layout for the year's end Sunday Business cover, shooting a few quick thumbnails back and forth.

With the layout locked, I inked the two portraits at the same size as they would print. I used a # 3 round brush mostly, and added the smaller lines with a quill pen. I inked Jerry Brown five times before I got him looking right. Ben Bernanke only took two tries!

Art Director Derek Simmons helped redesign the entire LA Times format recently, so I relied heavily on the templates he supplied to figure out the sizing of the illustration.

To finish the illustration, I created monoprints for background color with acrylic paint and a brayer, splattered it with ink, then printed full sized proofs on watercolor paper.

Ben Bernanke by Graham Smith
Jerry Brown by Graham Smith
I knew the portraits would be cropped into for the planned layout, but I drew the whole head and shoulders anyways. For some reason I have no worries drawing things I know will be cropped out, as long as it's me doing the cropping.

LA Times next to the original illustration
Original inking, printed piece in the LA Times and the sketch
Detail of Jerry Brown illustration - color proof on watercolor paper
Art Director's notes are the best.

I'm able to post the originals artwork next to the final printed pieces because Art Director's (and their staff) take the time to mail (as in Post Office) samples to me. Sometimes they have awesome notes attached. Thanks!

1 comment:

BTillustration said...

Awesome. Just posted some stuff I did for Derek as well. http://btillustration.blogspot.com/2011/01/los-angeles-times-2010-business-quiz.html

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