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Process: Hawaii Ukuleles December 10th, 2010

So to keep on a roll with in-flight magazines, here’s the process and inspiration for the series featured in December’s up! Magazine by WestJet. Venessa Brewer art directed this truly fun series illustrating a writer’s journey to Hawaii and her discovery of ukuleles and their history. I myself am trying, very slowly, to learn this instrument so I was pleased to accept this job. The first illustration shows a group of musicians enjoying the atmosphere of a ukulele-jam involving all sorts of different people (ukuleles do not segregate). The 2nd image is the opening spread and focuses on Hawaiian history & culture. They were all done by hand, first painted with acrylics and then inked.

Instead of capturing the kitchy 1950′s version of Hawaii, which is of course fun in it’s own right, instead I wanted to focus on more meaningful imagery. I wanted to show some insight into the importance of this little instrument and its strong connection to the people and history of Hawaii. I also wanted the paintings to feel like old folk songs, to feel dreamlike and sentimental. There’s a lot that can billow out of such a little instrument.

Yes, I do fully admit I usually get carried away with doing ‘research’ when I receive an interesting assignment. Here are some of the spoils of my search. Hopefully some of these will strike your fancy too. As you will see, I’m hoping to grab your attention with some sexy albeit classy topless lady shots. I was also going to include some fun Elvis shots but I’m sure you already got your fill with the “Charro” Elvis in the last post. There are so many sides to that man.

Here are the linears for the piece. Usually I draw out all the elements separately and then collage them together in Photoshop, as was done here. I find I have more freedom then to come up with an interesting composition and not get too precious with one detailed drawing.

Some of the smaller 2″x 2″ spots to compliment the main illustrations.

One Response to Process: Hawaii Ukuleles

  1. Pingback: Twitter « Haley's Ukuleles

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