Monday, May 10, 2010
Cincinnati in NYC
Illustration for Cincinnati Magazine, about a bar in NYC that serves Skyline Chili & Graeters ice cream during Bengals games for displaced Cincinnatians.
Every time I draw Cincinnati Chili or Coneys people go wild and I get emails from strangers and friends who I didn't even know were from Ohio. You people have some serious pride for your chili.. and for good reason, it's great stuff.
As far as the process goes the concept was pretty straightforward. Bengals fans in a NYC bar with piles of Cincy chili and Graeter's. Lucky for me, one of the bars that does this - Phebe's - has an awesome "olde time NYC" feeling so the background is based on what the bar actually looks like.
So the next step is always to decide whether to do an actual painting (pretty time consuming for this much detail) or just do pen & ink and pop the colors in with Photoshop. Or this hybrid technique that I've used a few times, I think most successfully for a Willamette Week food guide cover.
I do the line work first, scan it and print a copy out, then transfer an outline onto printmaking paper. Then I paint a few important elements and anything that I want to have texture, and also establish a general color scheme, which comes a lot easier to me with paint than a blank screen.
Next comes the photoshop nightmare of lining up the painting with the black line, cleaning up the edges (or not) and filling in all the remaining details. Usually at this point it looks like hell and I scream at my computer, but eventually it looks sort of awesome.