Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cedar Key Small Boat Meet shirt

First full weekend in May, the Cedar Key Small Boat Meet is really fun. It's a large gathering of owners and/or builders of traditional small craft of all kinds. Island Place in Cedar Key on the waterfront is the informal HQ for the event, though everyone's scattered all over town at campgrounds, cottages, condos and at anchor. I rented a 2nd floor gulf-front condo at IP and brought Mom up for a fab Mother's Day getaway weekend. We had a sweeping view of all the fun that weekend. I towed my 13'8" Melonseed skiff, "Goshawk" up behind the Element with us. My sore throat & cold, imported from Pittsburg via Bob's earlier Southwest Airlines flight, (yay...) kept me off the water for one whole excruciating day, but Saturday with all the other "Melonheads" out there was a blast.

The t-shirt design based on my linoleum block print, "Cedar Key Afternoon" was a big hit! I sold out and then sold a reprint order right after that. The reprints were mailed out and all of those shirts should be in everyone's hands by last week.

Here it is, four colors screen printed on 100% cotton Gildan "Texas Orange" shirts (more like a lovely russett color), very nicely printed by Logo Pro in Dunedin, FL.:

"ManannĂ¡n mac Lir's Midsummer Ride" - digital drawing

This was a recent commission for a b&w quarterly publication illustration. I'd originally wanted to do a graphite drawing but became pressed for time due to the Tarpon Springs show, the Roycroft jury deadline and assorted things all happening around the beginning of March. Madness, I tell you...

I had to resort to flipping this back and forth between Photoshop and Corel Painter, using various grayscale charcoal and graphite brushes. (Mostly in Painter.) Then again, I was curious to try doing this as an actual drawing, as in building my values up from light to dark in layers with strokes of the stylus, as opposed to continuous-tone digital painting. So, I drew & erased with my Intuous 3 Wacom tablet stylus just like using a pencil. (Brushes: Painter's Grainy Cover Pencil, Real 2B and Real 6B pencils.) I mostly used white "chalk" for highlights, but I confess to a little cheater dodge & burn highlighting here and there. That often happens at 2am.

As always, however, it starts with a genuine, honest-to-goodness pencil drawing. (Or should, anyway...) I almost always use a good quality, heavy tracing vellum that I can tape and trace over, refining my sketch as it goes. I always work at least 125-150% of final, printed size. The final version was scanned in at 300 dpi and I saved a clean Photoshop master copy that I could always go back to, if needed. (And I did. Always have a safety net...)

I used layers to separate the foreground art from the background graphics (like the circle, which was built as an ellipse w/ a Triskele embossed fill). But mostly I draw directly into my sketch background, covering and erasing just as if I were using a real piece of illustration board.

The final scanned sketch:
The final 300 dpi grayscale art file, as sent to print, approx. 6" x 10".