Sign Painters...

Sometimes we get an assignment around the studio that requires we do a portrait of a particular person. This is an illustration of John Downer, who's one of the few people left carrying the torch for the art of hand done sign painting. Sadly we live in a world where crappy rectangular vinyl signs with lousy fonts on them rule the day, but that's another story. Back to John, I had to rely on photo reference for this one in order to capture John's likeness. That sometimes brings up the question as to whether or not drawing from photos is a good thing, I think it's fine as long as you don't let your drawing skills erode because you begin to use photos as a crutch. If we must use photos let's learn something to further our skills while doing it and in this case I tried for an illustration style reminiscent of the great Charles Dana Gibson and others in that vein. I think it's reasonably successful.


Blogger Alden V said...

wow. that is really nice. i love the line art and brush strokes

6:32 PM  
Blogger Alden V said...

i love pen & ink

6:32 PM  
Blogger Mike M said...

Hey Chris! Thanks for the kind words on my blog. Funny, about a month ago i went right past House with my girlfriend on her way to drop off a job at her client's place. I really like the stuff you guys do and even have some of the fonts.

I really like thge stuff you have put up here!

As far as working from photos goes I think my buddy Ricardo Villagran put it best, he had two sayings along this line, "Where the photo ends, the artist begins". And for the weak artist who's a slave to photos, "Where ends the photo, ends the artist."

9:27 PM  
Blogger mauricio salmon said...

thank you for your comment! your blog is amazing. i really love the work you have going. and thank you for the batman logo. it's one of my favorites.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Kristian Antonelli said...

I totally agree with your thoughts on photo reference. All tools are useful. but tools is where they should stay. Your have an increble talent mr gardner. i love all the work on this blog. great Work!

4:45 AM  
Blogger Dominic Bugatto said...

NIce blog you've got going . Love your 'brush' chops .

6:33 AM  
Blogger sarah said...

Very very nice :) I love the style, it feels very classic.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Ryan Wood said...

Great as usual, Chris. I really like the confidence that goes into inkwork like this, you can't hit undo to bail out. Nice!

5:03 PM  
Blogger Kevin Barber said...

my goodness sir. Your dynomite !! Love it !

1:41 AM  
Blogger Chris Gardner said...

Thanks everybody, I must say that it's much appreciated to recieve the kind words. Especially from a group of really talented folks. You guys are pushing me to work harder, so many blogs loaded with amazing work. I hope you'll keep coming around and please feel free to rip the work when it needs to be ripped, I love criticism, it's how we all get better.

12:31 PM  
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3:33 AM  

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