Saturday, March 13, 2010

Long Live Rock!

I've been spending the last few months on a hefty illustration project for Universal Music. It's finally reached its final stages of approval, so I can safely breathe a sigh of relief and share it with you all. It's a promo piece for the reissue catalogue side of the company, this one particular campaign centers on the British Music Invasion. The whole process from concept sketches to final piece was spread out over a course of 4 months, clocking in around 100 hours.


So here is the final layout, in all its glory....(click image for a larger view)


A sketch of the new proposed layout.....the idea to spread out the logos on either side as grafitti offered a great solution to clean up the clutter. Other elements of destruction and debauchery (ala trashed hotel rooms) would be added later. An early idea (my wife's actually) was to add the Mt. Vesuviusa volcano erupting in the background environment, but was scrapped for sake of simplicity.

The art direction was leaning towards a very simple photo lineup, a bit like the Sgt. pepper album cover concept, so we started out more in the psychedelic/pop art color palette, but as we reached the new layout, it felt like the darker sepia mood fit the bill.

There was also a Sepia filter applied to the whole piece, along with some surface blur. The blue sky and main title were the exception, I popped those out unfiltered to give it some dynamics. The earliest layout was scrapped, and this new concept of a sort of trashed Mt. Olympus came into play, which I think works much better.


This was the old original layout....a much brighter palette, but the logos seemed a bit too busy and congested. The background colors were a bit off, and the overall feel just didn't seem to work. I call this the "Scooby Doo" version.

The characters themselves went through lots of artistic changes, so I chose Pete Townshend as the role model to show all the different steps it went through before reaching the final product.


Original pencil line is blended with Flash line, to give it a more hand drawn feel...


An early Sepia & Blur filter test over the color....


Flash line with some added flat color & highlights....


Retraced in Flash from sketch...


Original concept sketch...


This was my original rough concept sketch, warts and all. As you can see, a pretty big departure from the final piece. Notice the Sgt. Pepper-esque marching drum and flowers. See if you can spot Ringo, John, Yoko & Paul's Hofner bass. The dude leaning against the tree to the left is supposed to be a member of Hell's Angels.