Friday, February 14, 2014

A La Re-Schuss du Temps Perdu

As long as the Winter Olympics are underway, here's an illustration I drew for the front page of the UW-M Post for a winter sports feature issue in 1991 or 1992. If it was the latter, there could have been a tie-in to the Albertville games, but I'm afraid I don't remember. All I know about this unsigned, undated sketch is that it has to have been drawn after a cover I drew for the Christmas 1990 issue, because the same snow-covered version of the Post's flag I drew for the Christmas issue was reused for this one.
This was my first try at using press-apply halftones -- the sharply defined areas of gray on the skier, her skis, and the trees in the background. (The other gray areas in this image are because the paper is larger than my scanner -- and slightly warped now -- and I wasn't able to hold every square inch tightly to the glass. This is not the entire drawing, although most of the rest is open space left for headlines and other copy.)

At the time, my usual practice was to employ a lot of cross-hatching, but I wanted to go for a crisper effect here. Using an Exacto knife, I cut the halftone shapes out of a sheet of adhesive-backed plastic and applied them onto the drawing as smoothly as possible, avoiding any overlap. The tiny gap on the skier's right knee still bugs me.

This is just the black layer of the drawing; there was also a blue layer, which I don't have. The blue layer defined the background trees and the spray of the snow from the skis, and allowed the headline copy to be white.

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