May 31, 2011

Forgetting Why We Remember

New York Times OpEd Memorial Print
Here is an illustration I did for an Op-Ed piece by David W. Blight in yesterday's New York Times. The article was on the largely unknown beginnings of the Memorial Day tradition in America, and the events surrounding the first recorded gathering to mourn the losses of the Civil War in 1865.

Below are the quick ballpoint thumbnail ideas, and then the two more realized sketches from there, and then the finished ink wash painting. Much thanks to Aviva Michaelov for the always inspiring assignments.
New York Times OpEd Memorial Sketches
New York Times OpEd Memorial Illustration

May 17, 2011

To End All Wars

"To End All Wars" illustration
Here is an illustration I did for Sunday's Boston Globe Book Review of To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild.  The review highlighted the complexities and political ramifications of the first World War.  Instead of attempting to capture an elaborate, global concept, I thought it would be interesting to focus on the effects on the individual soldiers, who, due to the breakdown of technology and resources, were left in unprotected trenches with only rudimentary equipment and supplies to survive.
"To End All Wars" sketches
"To End All Wars" process
"To End All Wars" Review

May 3, 2011

Herman Wouk Is Still Alive

"Herman Wouk Is Still Alive" illustration
This month's issue of The Atlantic is on stands now, and features a new short fiction piece by Stephen King that I was asked to illustrate.  The story (which is available on The Atlantic's site), follows two young mothers who win a small sum in the lottery and a retired couple from outside Fairfield, Maine whose lives eventually intersect.  The illustration appears alongside the first page of the text, so one of the challenges was to allude to the end without undermining the narrative that was taking you there.

The thumbnail sketches below were jotted down in pauses while reading, and rougher than usual since much of the idea phase ended up being done through an ongoing dialogue with the Art Director, Jason Treat.  The conversation was especially helpful with such an emotional and highly-charged story. The third sketch, which was an interior of a van, came up as a strange/interesting option for the bleak but beautiful world the story is set in. And below that is a slightly more worked-out composition, and then the ink and wash underpainting, which was then finished digitally (above.)  Much thanks to Jason for the opportunity.
"Herman Wouk Is Still Alive" thumbnails
"Herman Wouk Is Still Alive" process