Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A (wet) Walk through 1875 St. Louis

It's been raining all week here so here's a gray and drizzly process post. As seen in a A Walk in 1875 St. Louis, this is the panel showing how water moved from thundercloud to cloudy drinking glass (and bathtub). It prominently features the Grand Avenue Water Tower, aka the Old White Tower, as seen here on plate 77 of Compton & Dry's Pictorial St. Louis.
I found the most vivid (and hopefully true-to-life) description of the tower's first design in the book A Tour of St. Louis; or, The Inside Life of a Great City. Published in 1878, this braggadocious touristy directory provided lots of background info for the exhibit at large.
Along with my buddy Leon Beyond I had investigated the lubricated inner-workings of St. Louis' old standpipe towers before:
But for this project I kept things a little bit more "by-the-book":
Final "thumbnail sketch":
Even at 13 feet tall, my illustrations of the Water Tower as it appears on the wall of the exhibit represents only 1:12 scale of the real water tower. Digital Layout:
Blue pencil drawing:
Finished ink + graphite drawing:
Final Vector Art:
The full 13'7" image:
We've also made a smaller version (along with all my other graphics showing The Inside Life of a Great City) to fit into a book we're calling the 1875 Illustrated Almanac:
Along with the Missouri History Museum's public historian Andrew Wanko, I'm gonna be doing a slideshow & signing for the Almanac this Saturday November 21st. It's at my favorite tavern in St. Louis, The Royale, from 4 to 6 pm. I can guarantee the drinks will taste better than the drinking water of 1875.

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