The painting is in the mail

Illustration

I got an illo assignment Monday morning for a piece due yesterday evening. The article was about a painter (in Washington, DC) who pays his rent with his art. He makes pop-art pictures of George Washington. So immediately I made the connection between G-Wash and the one dollar bill. I did a couple of different concept sketches but this one made the most sense:

With George popping out of the dollar bill to sign a rent check, I thought it captured most of the elements of the story. The art director liked it, but suggested adding a frame to the outline of the dollar bill, to drive home the point that the bill itself is art and not an actual dollar bill. I also liked his idea because it takes the illo further away from the possibility of it being a commentary on, say, the national debt.

So here are the pencils for the piece:

I scanned in an actual dollar bill and squeezed and stretched it to fit the layout of the piece. Then I lightboxed it to get the details of the bill and lettering, and integrate it with the image of George leaning out of the bill. (I was especially proud of how I sneaked my signature in there.)

Then I went to final with inks and toning:

And, voila! – a finished piece. All by 6 pm last night.