February 26th 2013

Okay!  Time to play a little catch-up!

I've been busy working on a few things at the same time lately, and I have a very brief reprieve from everything to catch up on what's been happening.

For today, I'll show a couple of the New York Times Magazine pieces I've been doing.

The first was published back at the beginning of February for the Eat section of the magazine.  I was very excited to get a chance to illustrate a portrait of a remarkable woman; Claudia Roden.  I love The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York, and have been meaning to pick up A Middle Eastern Feast, mostly because it has the most incredible cover, and I'm a sucker for that sort of thing.

I love doing the sketches for jobs.  Sometimes I almost prefer the loose look of them to tighter, finished illustrations, but this particular illustration proved to test me a little.  Usually it takes one polished sketch, and I'm off to the races, but it took me a few tries to get this one right!  I thought it would be easy, because Roden is a gorgeous woman and I was looking forward to painting her.  Perhaps that was the problem; I assumed it would be easy!  The first couple ended up looking quite masculine!  I was debating showing the first couple of sketches, but they're actually a bit too terrible to show to the public!  Instead I'll just show the finished illustration:

Here is a link to the article, A Time Before Tabbouleh.

I love working on black and white portraits.  I've done a few of these for the Times now, and they're always a lot of fun to do, and look better printed in the small scale they're set in.  A couple of previous ones are here: Chef Juanjo López and Chef Julie Sahni.  I've also been doing a number of them in colour for Southwest Airline's inflight magazine, Spirit, and I'll post those later this week.

The other illustration I did recently for NYTimes was for an article titled, Azerbaijan Is Rich. Now It Wants to Be Famous.  This article looked fantastic in print, because the designer, Caleb Bennett, used the title of the article in vertical format to create a soaring skyline.  He asked me to create a collection of tiny palm trees to sit at the base of the skyline, that could be spread throughout the article.

I had no idea it would be so complicated to paint a bunch of tiny palm trees, but to make them look realistic was really tough!  I'm so happy with the way they turned out though, and how they look in the finished layout.