Evolution of the Tales of the Cocktail poster 2013
Hopefully, this isn’t too much like pulling aside the curtain to expose the Wizard. I was just aiming to provide an interesting peek at the path this year’s poster took along the way. I was putting in old photos, parts of vintage illustrations, and very rough scribbles to start thinking about the direction I wanted to take the art. As things progressed, I would get one little section working, or one shape, or an area of color, and keep it in mind for the next step in the painting.
Originally in the development there didn’t seem to be any focus, just a scene of a group of people. The lady in the red dress in the second sketch was a big favorite and stayed around in my layouts for a long time (versions you don’t see here). But eventually she had to go, a more dominant figure emerged, and I knew I was on the right track. You can see the color was starting to evolve as well. I always think it is interesting how lucky accidents occur in the making of a picture, things you expand on until the whole piece is working much better than it was when you started. I’ve heard stories of artists who know what they are going to do before the first brushstroke hits the canvas. That has never been my way, though if it were possible, it would make things a lot easier. My method is to move in little steps until I finally realize it is finished. Step-by-step discovery, where the painting points the way as it evolves to completion.