Last summer I began working on a style that involved using simple geometric shapes to “paint a picture.”
The experimentation began with self-portraiture and was applied over the summer months to: well-known artworks, landmarks, animals, Sesame Street characters, New York City scenes, space-scapes and back to portraiture.
Playing around with the style again recently, I recalled how my wife preferred the look of the works before they were completed with a digital “smudge.”
So, I played with simply using the color in the lines to create the fill. The effect worked, but I felt the shapes themselves were lost to the overlapping.
I began simplifying. I used larger shapes to create contours and angles then filled them with colors along a monochromatic scale to create depth and shadows. (I even went a little Georges Seurat and tried a bunch of large dots, which was a little painstaking but amazed me that it actually worked.)
I went back one step (sorry, dotty) and decided to start trying out this new style with some more portraits. I had been feeling pretty shitty (and non-creative on the writing and art fronts) for a while when I began this, so I put out a call and began drawing friends. (You may recognize some of them!)
I decided to draw some famous people. I didn’t really have an aim when I started. But, in retrospect, I can see I wanted to get back to a happy place.
At this point, I could see where my heart was going. These were men in my life, in my childhood and beyond, who had an impact on me. I grew up watching and listening to them. Looking up to them. They were de facto role models. Talents I admired and strived to mirror. Many I would consider genius in their respective fields. All I’d be honored to have shared a handshake or even a room with, but will settle for having shared time on this Earth with.