s.d. smith has been writing a series of short stories for a regional magazine here in west virginia. all of the installments have been illustrated by some very talented artists. he asked me to illustrate the two most recent stories, the first of which was published this month and is featured in picture pages - one. i've really enjoyed the work and, along with some other projects i'm working on, i can really see how i should start taking art classes to better refine my work. as eric can attest, it has become increasingly more difficult to put down on paper what i see in my head. when writing my thoughts for this blog i make sure i pick my words carefully to properly convey my thoughts. i'm doing the same thing with my illustrations but it feels as if my vocabulary is limited. i'm trying very hard to expand the vocabulary of my art and you, my faithful readers, get to see the progress.
about this drawing: this is an illustration for the latest installment of s.d. smith's fledge chronicles published in west virginia south magazine. once i chose a scene to illustrate (which is not easy because s.d.'s writing is so ripe with imagery) i made a rough sketch of the angle from which i would draw. i then made a series of more defined pencil drawings that i would use to compose the final artwork. the man holding the cat is cyclop sammy (for obvious reasons) and i wanted to make sure that he was the center of our attention. i sketched him first and tiled the restaurant floor for perspective and then on a separate page sketched two additional characters (heck davis and the owner of the "grit-r-done" diner, hilda) along with various spilled dishes and utensils. i knew from my initial layout that i wanted to include an overturned chair but i wasn't sure where i would place it. once these sketches were complete i was able to start combining the elements on a finished page. using my light box and some micron art pens i started with cyclop sammy and then added heck davis and hilda. lastly, i placed the "carnage" on the floor...positioning the dishes and utensils along with a triangle cut piece of toast, a piece of bacon and a bunch of grits. at this point i knew where i wanted the chair so i added it and the tiles and i was done! all of the inked worked was done with the light box which has become an integral part of my toolset.
during the inking and finishing work i listened to my old small factory records; i do not love you, for if you cannot fly, and the industrial evolution.
from start to finish i spent five hours on this project.