Monday, July 02, 2007

Academy - Week Five

Anita Kunz gave us our assignment: Conceptual Portrait.

I chose to do a conceptual portrait of Hillary Clinton. I focused on her outrageous accent/manner of speaking and statements recently when speaking to primarily black audiences. She comes across sounding like a racist depiction of blacks from the 19th century. It's her own fault.... she even said that "Congress is run like a plantation.... and you know what I mean." It think that's ridiculous. So this is Hillary in blackface. And that's why I put her in front of the capitol building.

The instructors loved the idea and thought it showed the power of illustration.... but the only way I could pull it off would be to do it in the style of 19th-century political illustration. I referenced Thomas Nast. Jon Foster was also here to provide direction. I explored a lot of different techniques to get that engraving or etching quality but ended up doing it in pen and ink on watercolor paper. I learned that a razor blade makes a great eraser on ragpaper. (Thomas Nast image below).

The critique went very well. Lots of kind words. The only negative thing seemed to be that I overdid it on the speckles. But speckles were too fun to do.

WEEK SIX: Alumni instructor week. Doug Chayka and Jenny Kostecki are the instructors. Our assignment is do a double-page spread (11"x17") for chapter three of Pinocchio.


Blogger Sarah Fox said...

Wow! Tyler I think this is an amazing illustration!! I totally agree the it really does show how powerful an illustration can be. Plus, until I read what you had written, I thought it was a print, great technique. Clever and poignant...maybe you should explore political illustration further!

10:09 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Great Tyler, Love it, you'll find plenty of inspiration at home in DC to explore more political illustrations! Can't wait to visit the area again and see these pieces in person.... Again though, way to think on this one...

8:41 AM  
Blogger Cat Scott said...

Tyler, I'm very impressed. And I don't think the speckles are too much - it gives it great (but subtle) texture. Excellent concept - if you liked this technique, you should do more like it - you could probably find a lot of work for stuff like this in your area. Can't wait to see Pinnochio!!!

3:55 PM  
Blogger Don Rogers said...

oh man Tyler! good for you! you idea great job. by the way say hey to Perry for me,
I guess the one area you pulled off really well was maintaining her likeness while turning her face black. too funny and I missed that speech although.
I want to try the razor blade on the rag paper and see what happens. I think the instructor were right however and few too many dots, I think I would have said it differently, that a few drops less would have left more space so you can experience the droplets of ink.
you go boy!

best - Don

8:09 PM  
Blogger coloredsock said...

Tyler, this Hillary illustration is a really strong piece. i'm sorry i didn't get to see the original when i was there. it was a full week and i kept missing you when i was going thru the studios. i look forward to seeing your pinnochio finish--i'll check back here. it was such an inspiring week for me--i only wish i could have stayed thru this week.
take care, jenny--the "other" alumnae instructor

6:17 PM  
Blogger Tyler said...

Thanks, all, for the comments!

I'll post the Pinocchio finish (which isn't finished) in a day or two. It was a rough week for me and I pulled an all-nighter before the critique.

9:50 AM  

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