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Back to the Future
posted: October 24, 2008
It's back to the future for me on several illustrations for a client known as Digital Realty Trust. DRT builds data centers, we're talking massive secure places that are built to hold large amounts of data for corporations, and industry. The art director, Benji Vega, wanted a strong powerful industrialization-of-America look. Here are the first two of three illustrations highlighting DRT's logo in the art. The first illustration is from the factory. A worker throws a lever in the foreground with the cubes rolling out for distribution. In the second the cubes are leaving the factory and being shipped out on a trains heading in all directions. I went for a 30's era streamlined look to tie with mural theme. Hugh Ferriss meets Buck Rogers. It's subject matter I've dealt with before. That era of murals, and dreams seems to symbolize the feeling of a better world through technology. Here some pencils and the first two illustrations.
First rough.That's DRT's logo cube coming out of a press machine. Also I don't usually do color roughs.
After some revisions the under drawing for final art was approved.
First Illustration - Worker & Factory...
One of two rough sketches for the second illustration....
Second rough sketch....
The art director wanted some kind of smoke stacks added. Plus a sunset....
I designed smoke stacks, and kept them heavily filtered. No smoke....
The second illustration with sunset. Number three was just finished, but not published yet....
14 comments
Mark Fisher October 24, 2008
Doug, #2 is Super! Love the brassy color against the red and blue. That's a future I can live in.
Harry Campbell October 24, 2008
Great compositions Doug, and of course stellar roughs. I love the little details inside the factory, just above the tracks, guy on the cube, etc.
Scott Bakal October 24, 2008
Doug: Great work and nice to see the roughs for this series.
Cathleen Toelke October 24, 2008
Whoa! Your outlandish perspectives are the absolute best! Beautiful job, Doug. Among everything else, I love the sky color in #2.
Nancy Stahl October 24, 2008
You've really pushed the Powerful envelope on these. They have amazing strength. Gorgeous..!
Marc October 24, 2008
Great to see the process, and the finishes are knockouts. I love the impact your color adds to these.
Roberto Parada October 24, 2008
Wow Doug, those are stunning works. I love the palette used on the worker pulling the lever piece. Your work becomes animated before my very eyes. So much action and movement. Great Work as always.
Doug Fraser October 24, 2008
Thanks for the encouraging responses. The color aspect is what the client was concerned about in the beginning. I pushed the color more after the initial rough. Its the structure I was trying to figure out in the early pencils. Thanks again.
Paul Rogers October 24, 2008
There's so much to admire here. The development of the sketches is a lesson in composition and refinement. The lighting on the second piece is something most of us wouldn't even attempt. You may have a future in this business of illustration.
Kyle T. Webster October 24, 2008
Doug - Number 2 is the bomb.
Robert Saunders October 24, 2008
For what you do, nobody comes near you, Doug. You get great drama in your work.
Leo Espinosa October 25, 2008
do you keep your pencil sketches, Doug? If you do put them in a safe place 'cause I want to steal a few. Those trains, man...pfffff!
Jeffrey Smith October 26, 2008
Doug, Beautiful work. I really like the way you fill up spaces with smaller, secondary images. For me, the changes in scale, rhythms or echos from major to minor forms, and the use of diagonals, helps to create a powerful sense of space. I can't wait to see your slaughterhouse series... "He told her pleasantly shocking stories of the stockyards, how the hogs climbed the Bridge of Sighs to an elevated platform where chains were attached to their hind legs and they were swept away, shrieking, along an overhead track down into the bloody core of the slaughterhouse." Erik Larson, The Devil In The White City. I am, of course, remembering your stories of growing up in Canada. Thanks for the powerful post.
Doug Fraser October 26, 2008
Jeff, man, when you tell it, it does raise the hellish nature to new levels, You should be writing for film. It was cattle not hogs, but hell it was. Thank you for your thoughts.
All images copyright Douglas Fraser