Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Blues are Back!

Final poster (11"x17").
The annual Hot Licks Bluesfest returns to Ganville, Ohio in September. I’ve created artwork for the festival poster in the past and it’s one of my favorite projects of the year. It’s a full day of great music in the heart of a beautiful little village and when you combine music and art, I’m on board!
The end of June and first part of July was lost to a storm in the area. My work schedule was really messed up and the Bluesfest poster deadline was approaching (I think that could inspire a blues song, like- Couldn’t Stand the Weather…oops, that one’s taken).
Anyway, I only had a couple of days to create some blues art magic and thought I’d share some project details.

I usually like to include something in the art that reflects that year’s headliner, or bands. If the main band is guitar driven, I go with a guitar. If it’s harp, I try to include a harp player, and so on. This year, the headliner is the hot, hot band from Chicago-land, Funky Mojodaddy. As I researched the other bands in the line-up, the flash of Sean Carney caught my eye.  Carney is an excellent musician and performer. I pulled some pics of Sean for reference. The guy has an extremely cool jacket, trimmed with a leopard print…that’s where I started. 

 Pencil sketch.
Final illustration (acrylic on board).

He’s very animated on stage, so that became perfect inspiration for the poster layout. To get away from the photo reference, I took parts (hands, head, guitar, legs, etc.) from various pics and photo-shopped them together. I enlarged parts, stretched parts and came up with a photo-collage that became my final reference image. The legs and shoes in the reference were actually from a pic of guitar player, Chuck Berry. They worked perfectly with Sean’s cool jacket.  Then, I did a pencil sketch from the Franken-sean photo-collage.

Working on the final art with Franken-sean reference.

The festival goes into the night, so I thought of a starry night as a background…plus the movement of the brushstrokes would add more energy to the final art.

If you are in the central Ohio area, stop by Granville for a great Blues festival. I just hope we can “stand the weather”…pray for a starry night!