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Small Town Pharmacies & Norman Rockwell May 28th, 2012

So happy that creative director Louise Bolin asked me to do a Norman Rockwell-inspired piece about the friendliness of the local pharmacy in Delaware Today’s premiere issue of 302 Health. So, I decided to go pretty and sun-drenched for this illustration and include lots of happy folk. Sadly, my local Shoppers Drug Mart does not have the same vibe as this. The Eastern European postal lady intimidates me to no end.

Here are my pencil linear and the inks before I added the colour digitally. When I apply colour this way I always use swatches of my own paintings so the final piece retains my look and takes away from the glossiness of pure digital colours.

The illustration was potentially going to be a cover, so I had to lay the piece out with the magazine title in mind. Sadly, a photo of of a very fit Valerie Bertinelli won out. Who can blame them really? Luckily I did get a nice big spread though. Full page illustrations are always a treat.

Some of the inspiration for this project came from 1950s photos of small town American life and vintage illustration as you can see below. Wish I wore outfits like that when I was in school.

Although I wasn’t going for the realism of Rockwell, it was a nice excuse to check out the brilliant craftsmanship of his artwork and I was happy to discover there’s now a book out featuring his reference photos,  “Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera” by Ron Schick. I’ll definitely have to buy this. They’re brilliant shots in their own right, quirky snapshots capturing an era of American life and the characters that lived in it. It’s fascinating to see how much depth and personality he adds to these images with his paintings, not to mention those beautifully layered skin tones. What a sense of humour too – I’m particularly fond of the tattoo illustration. I’m still saddened that that sailor dumped Rosietta. I thought they were such a good fit.

These images can be found on NPR along with a more detailed description of Rockwell and the “Behind the Camera” project and even more at the Smithsonian Magazine.



5 Responses to Small Town Pharmacies & Norman Rockwell

  1. Your work is great! I came across your site through the RGD/Creative Niche Survey. I just went to the pharmacy where I live (Perth Ontario) on my lunch break it pretty much looks exactly like your piece! Great job!

  2. Anne says:

    Absolute visual treat! Thank you, and have a lovely day.

  3. Jane says:

    Hahah do you go to the shoppers at King & Dundurn? I LOVE that lady!

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