I got another email last week from Wonkavision saying they needed a bunch of illustrations and I asked for one called "The Punk bible." They have kind of a mass email/grab bag system for illustrations. They wrote back and asked if I could do the Josie Outlaw makeup one too, and said that they had to be done in like 4 days. Pretty tight. I didn't get the stories for another 2 days, so I had a day to do them both. It was hard, but not impossible. I find that what tends to suffer most in a tight deadline is the idea. I take about 2 weeks to work out ideas and compositions, then it usually only takes a day or two to do the painting.
The Punk bible ended up actually being "The Rock Bible", which I was surprised to learn was co-written by Patton Oswald. Either way, it was well suited for me. When I read the article all I could think was "Motorhead." When I think "Rock" that's what comes to mind, so I built the piece around it. I finally made the investment and got 2 Kolinsky sable brushes. One is an Isabey #5, which I used for both of these, and the other is a Raphael #6. The brush is incredible. It's worth it if you use a brush to ink. If you use pens, I think you should just use a nice brush, you can get more precise details than a micron 005, and you can use super black waterproof India ink.
The other illustration is about Josie Outlaw of the AKA's. She started a make-up line called Red Letter Girl. Unfortunately, that was about the extent of the article. This was a really hard assignment for me, but I like that. The Rock Bible piece was obviously my element, but having to draw something in a positive light was more problematic than I thought it would be. I've been thinking about this one a lot. This assignment involved drawing lots of things that I'm not strong at: It had to be positive, she had to be alive, a likeness, I'm not good at drawing women, and it had to have a lot of bright colors, which is really hard to do. I feel like the drawing was strong, but when it got to coloring it, the variety of colors made it all seem disunited. I like to work with a limited palette. I almost never paint flesh tones. I don't care for them, and I find it hard to work that tan into the color scheme of a painting. Plus a believe that it's much more interesting the the skin is a different color; it helps to build a more fantastical world. I need to work of these problems something fierce because I'll never be able to make a living just doing record covers. I also did vignettes for some reason, I never do vignettes and that's a compositional challenge of it's own. It's hard to deal with all that white too. I enjoyed the challenge, and I think it will help me develop a style for this kind of work.