The first assignment for my 3 month mentorship under Giuseppe Castellano was to research the illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé.
He is still alive, and known for loose ink work, real life settings, minimal colour, recognizable but not perfect depictions of people (for example children have light bulb shaped heads and adults have big noses). Then I needed to reference his style in a mock up of a cover for the New Yorker magazine, including the interaction of two characters and a background.
This is one of my pages of practice sketches.
The next thing was to research covers for the New Yorker magazine. Most of them contained scenes from New York life, or what would be recognized as New York life, or else they were political. At times the spine and mast-head were colours other than black.
So I researched New York, things like 20 things only New Yorkers would appreciate, or 10 jokes only New Yorkers will get. I needed to find either a humorous angle or something I am interested in. The stories of YouTube sensations Pizza Rat and Milkshake Squirrel were intriguing.
I put together some thumb nail sketches:
1. Pizza – Rat: Going to the Cinema with Dad.
2. Abbot and Costello on TV with child watching.
3. Father and child on a Ferris Wheel at an amusement park.
4. Child peering over subway platform to see train.
5. Child chasing after parent in front of giant destination board.
Of these thumb nails, Pizza – Rat won. This is a scan of the ink work, below.
The next step was to get an idea of colour values digitally before putting any watercolour on.
Then came watercolour. This is the raw image below:
I then had to clean up the art work and remove/fix mistakes from inking, in Photoshop.
And then add the copied masthead from a previous New Yorker cover, via Google and Photoshop again.
This final art is shown at a smaller size than actual size.
It had been quite a while since I used non-digital media, I had forgotten how nerve wracking it is when there is no room for mistakes.
#IllusDept #mentorship #Sempé
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