Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: Say Goodbye



Once again, here's the cover to this week's RFT, and a bunch of weird stream-of-trivia-news-consciousness illustrations for the quiz. Here are sketches and final watercoloured art for each interior spot (click to see 'em larger):




And here were my ideas for the cover:

Once again I was happy to indulge one of my favorite visual metaphors, Baby New Year vs. Father Time. These characters have a rich history of among illustrators, going back to (and probably further back than) the gods Chronos & Saturn. .

Chronos, God of Time by Ignaz G√ľnther

In the earliest days there seemed to be a real adversarial relationship between Father Time and his offspring, Baby New Year, which continued into medieval times.

Evrart de Conty, Les Echecs Amoureux, c. 1498.
I like this painting by Simon Vouet, which suggests that by the 17th century, Father Time and Baby New Year were at least fighting on the same allegorical side, the "team of time." Here they are being vanquished by Love, Venus & Hope in the painting Time Vanquished by Love, Venus and Hope, c. 1646. Then political cartoonists, for good or bad, got ahold of them.

William Hogarth, Time Smoking a Picture, 1761.
But the high point of visibility of these characters has to the 2nd and 3rd decades of the 20th century, specifially the time frame in which J.C. Leyendecker 's covers of The Saturday Evening Post were an annual milestone.

At this point the duo seemed to have developed more of an avuncular relationship, gentle but competitive. Less a passing of a torch then a passing of a joy buzzer. Or the inevitable inter-generational gesture of "pull my finger".

This relationship between past and future is what I'm going for with my RFT year-end quiz covers. Here was mine from 2010.

Anyway, back to this year! We went with the sketch with these guys doing some celebratory faux-gunfire together. Here's a tighter sketch:

 Final inked linework:

Vector art (and alternate take):

(This might be a good time to advocate for Fun without Guns this New Years Eve.)
Hope everyone has a safe and fun New Year!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Zettwoch Family Xmas Cards 2013

We found these cheap, sparkly readymade cards at Big Lots (32 for $5) and designed our art to print right on top. 
A note of warning to everybody out there preparing to print on glitter-covered surfaces: don't!
But they turned out okay. Merry Christmas everybody!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lost + F(ound) 2013! Blueberry Pie!

Getting excited for tonight's Lost + F(o)und, the fun(d)raiser for St. Louis' own dumpster-diving, upcycling, furniture/art/craft making gang Perennial. Here's some nitty-gritty behind the poster I printed for it. Initial ideas:
In past years I've focused on the 'state fair' and 'junk drawer' nature of Lost + F(o)und; this year I wanted to really play up the PIE (Perennial puts together an amazing annual smorgasbord of pies at the event). At first I thought about showing a slice of pie being constructed out of reclaimed wood:
Maybe an exploded diagram kinda thing?
Or maybe on an avant-garde architectural shelf?
At some point I realized a pie made out of wood planks was not very appetizing, so started thinking about just depicting an actual piece of blue-ribbon pie. I just realized that the first three letters of 'piece' is 'pie'!
I started to get into the idea of a slice of piece being cut out of an entire table with a jigsaw and turning that into a fancy pedestal.
Here's a tighter sketch:
I knew I wanted the whole thing to look like it was printed on a chunk of plywood; here's the final assembled sketch:
After getting approval on that idea, I went into final inks. Here's the lineart (notice I didn't bother drawing an 'o' in F( )und):
And here's a chunk of wood I found in my basement and made a hi-res. scan of:
Color adjusted:
To work with my lo-fi silkscreen process, I had to make a chunkier halftone version of the woodgrain to work as a single color. I went with a vertical line style of halftone in photoshop to mimic the fine grain of the wood:

Meanwhile I was mixing up and testing my 3 inks (dark brown, white, semi-transparent blueberry blue), on the paper I would use (Canson Mi-Tientes Hemp pastel paper):
Final vector art with the woodgrain half-tone dropped behind everything:
All 3 colors separated,  printed on acetate and squeezed side-by-side on one frame, on the exposure table:
The screen, ready to squeegee ink through:

Two colors down, one to go:
Final print:

Okay, I'm gonna go skip lunch to save room for pie tonight.