Monday, May 18, 2009

Orange Element

"The Orange Element"
Commission for Orange Element Design - Fells Point, Baltimore, MD

A lot of people wonder about about my process, so I took some time to document the stages of the recently completed commission above, which I did for the office of the Orange Element Design Firm.
First I get started with a handful of small, loose sketches to start working out the composition.  This client really responded to the style I was primarily using in 2007 like "Steping out" and "Hammer Head" with tight, flat line work and dense, stream of conciseness imagery.  This style was influenced by tattoo design and closely linked to the ink illustrations I was doing at the time.  He also liked the use of maritime and marine imagery in pieces like "Rome" and "Getting Her Sea Legs" so I had an idea of what direction to go.
There were more sketched than the above 2, but they were the ones with which I started to hone in the design I was looking for.  These sketches are about 6x6 inches.  Once I had a concrete idea of what I'm going to do, I sketched out the composition full scale, 36 x 36" on the fabric surface in chalk.  Next I srart bleaching in the contour lines of the design.

Once I had all the lines in, I gave the central clownfish a touch of of orange dye.  Next I stopped by the office to see how the work in progress looked in the space, a 19th century row house that had been adapted into a modern place of business.

I took the piece back to my studio to lay in some tonal washes to make the imagery pop... and we're done!  Check out the detail images below:
If you're looking for something to hang in your home or office, don't waste your money on a movie poster or some nonsense from the mall.  Get real art from real artists.  Commissions anytime, email:

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