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Brooklyn + SF + Process

Just finished a really fun commission for some artwork to go on a wedding. The couple wanted to highlight one of my favorite pairs of places in the world (NYC & SF) so it really was a pleasure making this for them.

Folks ask me a lot about my process for something like this. So here it is:

The clients (Rebecca and Ellery, hence the “RebEl” on the billboard) had given me some basic things they wanted in the image like SF & NYC, their dog, my kinds of drawings of people, food and booze. So I sent them this sketch:

They loved the idea. (Yes! That’s always a great email to get back from folks.) But were afraid some details like SF’s Sutro Tower would be lost on New Yorkers and suggested I just go for the two iconic bridges. I changed up the sketch and inked over it on some 100 lb. Bristol. The inked piece looks like this:

They also had mentioned their wedding colors were coral, blue and green. That was kind of a fun challenge for coloring this piece. The limited palette also added to its graphic look, which I figured would be better on a wedding invite. And to give a sense of how that kind of coloring works, I scanned the inked image and then cut out all of the whites in Photoshop. I then made that one layer (and usually I’ll convert the black of the lines to a dark blue so it’s less oppressive with other colors) and then made another layer of colors. I digitally painted in the color in that layer with a Wacom Tablet. Minus the line art, here’s what that layer looks like:

And that (minus all of the coffee/snack/beer breaks, walks in the parks, email checking, trips to Brookyn Boulders) is basically how it’s done. Questions?