Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Projects

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.
After posting my first image for the Ingrid Michaelson piece, I decided it needed a complete redo. I originally wanted this to have a simple layout and be done with pen and ink with some ink and gouache washes. Unfortunately, my simple composition was so boring I wanted to throw it out the window. Here is the updated color study. I’m about 60 or 70 percent of the way through the final, which has turned into a full blown acrylic illustration.

I am also concocting a spot illustration portrait of Warren Buffett. I started reading about him after Berkshire Hathaway acquired the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. The main concept behind the piece is an abacus imitating a ribcage; I wanted to capture the idea that Buffett is both more traditional in his methods than other investors, and that he follows his… instincts.
I’m still trying to figure out which design I’d like to take to final, any suggestions you guys have would be really helpful.

Another inspiration behind this piece is this illustration by Andrea Wicklund – check out her work at and at

These are the sketches for a new piece. It comes from a suggestion given to me last year in New York by a friend; he challenged me to draw at least five people in an environment interacting in different ways. This forces me to stretch my narratives and the emotions in my work.
I chose to depict a debate because I dislike confrontations, so I figured it would be interesting to play with the tension of the scene and show the reactions of the surrounding customers. Some people are so into their own world that they don’t notice; others try to cover the noise with headphones.
I’m still trying to figure the values for the piece, particularly for the central figure, and would love to get any feedback you guys have.

Thanks everyone,



  1. Your work is beautifully done, and I really thank you for sharing the progress.

    I'd go with number 4 for the Warren Buffet piece. I like that the left side grounds the shape, and the adjusting of the abacus seems more personal to Buffet.

    I'm really enjoying the changes to the Ingrid Michaelson piece. :)

  2. Erika,

    1) You color study is a final illustration in my opinion. I love that you can see the line work and the background is killer. It would just need a little bit of finessing with the Photoshop brushes so you can't see the strokes. You could even try it with flat colors and let your value shine through from the sketch. I know this wasn't your intention but I wanted to point out how beautiful and strong your color study is by itself.

    2) I always loved Andrea's illustration. Looks like your Buffet illustration is going in a great graphic direction like hers. I like #4 - I can tell it's the same as #2 but you added the shape in the bottom left, and I think that was a good call. It might be a little heavy so you should play with the size and stuff but it's a great direction and gets the idea across in a nice simple way.

    3) Your value study problem is a tough one. I guess it depends what you want the focal point to be, and you should work on making that highest contrast. For some reason, I want the guy on the right with the headphones to be the focal point.

    4) Great work and I love seeing it up here!! Miss you!

  3. You guys are amazing! Thank you so much for you feedback, it's an immense help. Many hugs of gratitude from Seattle.