Monthly Archives: February 2011

Mnemonics

Here’s the answer to my last post, ‘Gen-Xer loves numbers duty’.  When I was teaching Sunday school at Third Church I thought it would be cute to draw some cartoons to help students memorize stuff—in this case, the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.  I couldn’t quite make it work.  Although ‘Gen-Xer’ was perfect for the first 2 books, my students were 12-16 years old so Generation X was ancient history for them and ‘Gen-Xer’ wasn’t any part of their language.  I tried another one with a character named General X, but the x’s on his uniform recalled swastikas and lent an unfortunate sinister quality to what ought to have been a light-hearted image.

Here’s another one to help remember the books by the major prophets: ‘Is Jeremiah’s lament easy dancing?’  I’ve drawn Jeremiah as a frog, but the Three Dog Night song is more ancient history.  Again, it kinda sorta works, but not well enough to pursue beyond a sketch.  The books are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel and Daniel.

Gen-Xer loves numbers duty

What is this supposed to mean?

Here’s the answer.

As You Like It painting

This is me trying to sew 2 scans together with Photoshop.

As you like it

Paul Schifino hired me to create an image for the Shakespeare comedy As You Like It—to be part of the Pittsburgh Public Theater‘s season brochure.

Much of the play takes place in the woods; the main character, Rosalind, disguises herself as a man; there is a jester, shepherds, nobles, peasants; romantic intrigue; a wrestling contest; kissing practice; sheep; a punched lion and a wounded deer.  I worked all this stuff into one rough sketch—I like the look of chaotic fun with a forward motion.  The director—Ted Pappas—plans to stage it all in Victorian costume.

This one doesn’t quite work—Rosalind needs to be the focus.  The client felt she blends into the crowd and it isn’t clear she’s a girl disguised as a man.  Could I instead push the crowd into the background and bring Rosalind forward?  How about a tree, and Rosalind is on one side as herself and on the other side dressed as a man?  How about a shepherd and some sheep in the background?

So in the play one of the characters (Orlando, I think) carves love poems into the trees.  I used that device to incorporate the title lettering.  The client loved that, but not the 2 Rosalinds.  Lose them, keep the tree, lose the peasants, put a sheep on one side of the tree and a jester’s stick on the other. And put some musical notes in with the leaves.

Okay, better—but could we include William Shakespeare?

Nope, that’s too much.  Shakespeare looks cartoony.  Let’s go back to the previous sketch.  Also we’ll need to see his name hand-lettered.

How about a banner?

Too mach banner over ‘kespeare.’  Make it 2 banners. This will be a separate piece of art that gets placed over the tree-trunk.

 

PSInside February

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