Fine Cartoon Art

exaggerated, in a good way

Posts Tagged ‘rejoice evermore’

Who Was It Who Had that Awesome Quote?

Posted by jtebeau on February 14, 2012

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve finally gotten my feet back under me after the holidays. I’m serious. We were in New Orleans till the week of Thanksgiving, then there’s the big feast day, and the kickoff to the best time of the year — the filet, if you will — here in New York. The holiday season, from Thanksgiving week to New Year’s and beyond. Super Bowl? The Giants? Whew. Seriously. Enough. Time to get back to work. Fun’s fun, but . . . .

SO, I’m gearing up for another “series” project. Not birds (they’re forbidden at this post-Portlandia point in time, right?), not food, but this time . . . great quotations. Hand-lettered, maybe even illustrated, if the spirit moves me. Definitely a juicy project, right? I like to read a good line. I love a clever turn of the phrase. And wisdom? In the immortal words of Ted Nugent, “Wisdom f*ckin’ ROCKS, dude.” And when you throw in color, fonts, design and layout? Forget it. There’s enough there for ten lifetimes of devoted work.

And the pool from which to draw? Come on. It’s huge. (Or “yooge” as we say in New York, for some reason.) YOOOOOGE. We can cover anything from Hunter S. Thompson’s “I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me,” to Goethe’s (possibly misattributed) “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” And who could forget Mark Twain’s famous “That’s what she said?” Yes, good stuff, that.

Courtesy T-Shirt Lunatic

Anyway, I’ve done this before (see below) and have a mess of quotes to plumb, ones I’ve jotted down over the years, but I’m open to suggestions. Got any favorite quotes you’d like to see illustrated, or illuminated, as the monks did in days of yore? This one below was a quote from the HBO mini-series about John Adams, and Alan Janesch commissioned it from me a couple years ago. Thanks again, Alan!

Hit me with your suggestions, and I’ll get on a few of them. I promise. I’ll run a couple of my ideas by you, too, next week. Keep your eyes peeled.

"Rejoice, Evermore" from John Adams via the always-watchable Paul Giamatti as America's favorite cranky Yankee

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Fine Cartoon Illuminated Manuscripting in 9 Easy Steps

Posted by jtebeau on June 8, 2010

Recently I was commissioned to make a little sign. A simple phrase, in convenient 5″ by 7″ frame-able form. Step one was getting the phrase: “Rejoice Evermore.” Done. The client took care of that.

Step two was finding a suitable font. I used one called Blackmoor out of an ancient Letraset reference manual I’ve had for years.

Step three: Sketching out “the look.” Good old sketchbook. If those pages could talk….

The client gave major leeway on this. He wanted me to do my take of an ‘illuminated manuscript’ look, but not too ‘religious.’ I get that. I wanted it to feel joyous, of course, but a bit more organic and less stiff than some of them you see. And given the small scale, I couldn’t be TOO detailed. I went with bold lettering and a simple vine for the organic flavor around the edge, as a border.

Step four: Sketching it onto nice, thick illustration board and begin inking. I used a Rapidograph pen with India ink for this.

Step five: Finish inking and choose appropriate colors. Obviously I would to go with something warm like yellow and orange. But I wanted something organic, too, because the client likes nature (hence a vibrant green). And I chose to do the letters in reflective gold to make it more… PROFOUND!

Step six: Paint the background. I always work from front to back, a habit of my silk-screening days….

Step seven: Paint the letters gold. This was Liquitex “Antique Gold”. Good stuff. Great look.

Step eight: Paint the border… then… jazz up the background. I went with a funky sort of sunburst look. Sort of psychedelic, sort of… well… joyous!

Step nine: Black outlines on the vines and text. It wouldn’t be cartoon art without the black lines, now would it?

If you’re interested in commissioning a neat little piece like this (or big ‘un), let me know:

Thank you, Alan Janesch, for the cool gig.

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