Train Spotting
posted: September 9, 2009
Recently I worked with Joseph Heroun at The New Republic magazine. We worked on the cover art. We've worked together before, and he was one of the first art directors to encourage me to work with a my more simple direct approach. Joe had an idea in mind which he described to me. I liked the idea as well, and after a few rough sketches, final art was under way. We wanted to keep the colors somber, and dark. The sketches have their own quality which I liked. I began to wonder if executing the piece in an alternative approach might be better. I was waffling, but Joe's direction was a real support. I've found that "sketching" roughs for a looser direct brush mark can get tricky. The direct graphic brush approach in the final is difficult to indicate with a pencil. The rough sketches tend to veer towards another approach. I am proud of the final cover, and the Art Director played a very helpful role in this situation. I'm not always thrilled with concepts floated at me, but when it's working in my opinion....well it's working.
Joe & I discussed the first roughs....
A middle scale for the train was sketched out....
Cover with final text....
Leo Espinosa September 9, 2009
one oxymoron applies: solid transparencies!
Kyle T Webster September 9, 2009
This rocks.
Paul Rogers September 10, 2009
looks kinda socialist.
randy enos September 10, 2009
Nice job Doug.
Hal Mayforth September 10, 2009
Beautiful job, Doug. I'm curious. A while ago you posted a personal train painting. Was your promotion of that piece in any way tied to the landing of this assignment?
Zina September 10, 2009
Very striking and successful combination of loose and solid and translucent.
GregM September 10, 2009
It's a classic. I love it.
Doug Fraser September 10, 2009
•First off yes, I relied on transparencies. It was about fine tuning them. The transparencies also have a subtle gradient/opacity applied. I've not usually liked the gradient tool all that much, but now it's possible to adjust the opacity differently from start to finish. •Paul, I've been outed! •Hal, no I believe it was the previous work I had done for the magazine. Joe's thoughts on the cover were more about a graphic look that he desired. At least that's what I gathered. •Thanks also for the supportive comments.
Marc September 10, 2009
Great piece, and I love the sketch development. Scary to think we're facing an even worse financial future than our recent past.
Mark McBride September 10, 2009
Wow Doug you were not kidding...the piece is very dark, its the most sadest train that I have ever seen. I have to admit Doug, I will pass on this one, too dark and scary for me...YIKES!
Andy Heckathorne September 18, 2009
Great work, Doug. I like it's rough/dark quality. The composition reminds me a bit of KISS's Sonic Boom cover art by Michael Doret.
Laura Levine September 18, 2009
Nice! I really like the first sketch too. (I wish there wasn't so much type on the final, of course...). : )
Chris Pitzer September 22, 2009
Fantastic process! Thanks for sharing Doug!
All images copyright Douglas Fraser