Artist Commission: Custom Personalized Pin-Up Poster from Photo

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Today I would like to tell you about my recent artist commission. A guy from the USA asked me to draw a personalized custom pin-up poster from a photo of his girl-friend to make her an original and unique gift. It was a rather interesting assignment which is worth a post in my artist’s blog.

Vintage Pin-Up Art as a Symbol of Female Charm

Pin-up drawings, paintings and illustrations were used in times when color photography and photo manipulation possibilities were extremely restricted. Pin-up drawings are good representatives of pop art, i.e. art which most people love or at least think it’s kinda cool. No wonder that pin-up style posters and calendars are extremely popular even in our days. Although the pop art is often considered to be the mainstream and something hackneyed, it seems to be not the case with the pin-up art, most likely because hand drawn pin-ups were succeeded by photography which was made with photo-devices. Nowadays photographs are often embellished by means of various software or computer generated effects and filters. Therefore vintage pin-ups are not just mere drawings of beautiful and sexy girls but the manifestation of the genuine, human created art. Whatever people say, but I my personal believe is that any camera will never be as creative as the artist’s brain. I know that today’s cameras, hardware and software can do wonders but what devise can compete in creativity with an artist’s hand operated by the human brain? That’s the reason why the hand-made art has always been the most valuable and appreciated.

People also love vintage things because they remind them of the days of their youth or childhood. And those who were not born in those retro pin-up days yet, think that époque was more romantic and agreeably naïve. Isn’t it cool to imagine how you would have lived in those days when TV-sets were rare and people had no computers to distract them from admiring real nature and experience real life? And especially live the life of glamorous fashion models, movie actors / actresses who were the first to start fashion trends and who never stop being admired through the decades till the current day. Every woman wants to be admired. And what is the better symbol of the woman’s beauty admiration than the pin-up art? Pin-up emphasizes female beauty and sexuality balancing between classical nude figure paintings and today’s undisguised demonstration of the female body. But there is something more classical in the1950’s pin-up art, something more innocent, more naïve and pure. It seems that the pin-up art of that époque did not merely concentrate on carnal exhibition of woman’s beauty, but it somehow reflected the vibrant “spirit” of a woman, her soul which DOES exists in her sensual body. The pin-up art created by an artist does not show a woman as an object of male’s desire but it points out the girl’s pride of being a female, pride of being the most attractive creature in the world. And when the guy wanted to give his girl-friend a personalized pin-up as a gift, I think, he wanted to say “Hey, I am attracted to you, but I respect you as a woman. I am not a predator and you are not my prey. You are someone I love and cherish.”

Personalized Pin-Up Gift for a Girl-Friend

But let’s get back to the less romantic and more technical issues of this pin-up drawing commission. In order to achieve similarity to the 50’s pin-up style I used color pencils. I am aware of today’s glamorous pin-ups having a terrific look due to sophisticated photo devices and advanced graphics editing software and hardware but they have no the old-fashioned pin-up art charm created by such famous pin-up artists as Alberto Vargas, Al Moore, George Petty, Gil Elvgren and others. I am far from being as good in pin-up drawing as those artists but for this commission I had no other choice but creating a hand-drawn pin-up poster without any interference with graphics editing software following the classical traditions of the best pin-up artists. I also drew a retro radio and old-fashioned but stylish sunglasses in order to produce a correspondent vintage atmosphere of 1950’s. The photograph, which was sent to me, had been taken specially for this pin-up poster and that’s why it corresponded to the pin-up girl look and feel. This fact made my work a little bit easier, although I asked for other portrait photos in order to create the portrait resemblance of the pin-up. I used hard Koh-i-Nor pencils as I drew on a large A3 paper sheet and the pin-up drawing had a lot of small details. As a result a high resolution JPEG file was delivered to the client. The resolution of 3543px × 4961px was pretty much enough to make custom pin-up calendars and posters. The client allowed me to show the low resolution copy of the pin-up poster. Here is how it looks.

custom pin-up drawing by Igor Lukyanov

Click here to see all my custom pin-ups on this blog
All my pin-up videos

You can read more about my other custom personalized gifts in the following post:
Custom Pin-Up for an Australian Woman
Personalized pin-up art with a car
Custom pin-up poster
Custom pin-up for Susie
Custom Pin-Up for Cindy
Custom Pin-Up Gift for Christina
Custom personalized greeting cards with portraits
My fashion illustrations and sketches


My first Illustrator and Artist’s Video Report (Works from November 2009 till January 2010)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It has passed three months since my début as a freelance illustrator and artist. I am still learning how to be a freelance illustrator and work independently. Luckily, I have a friend who supports me and helps me to make my first steps in the freelance career. We together build my on-line presence and develop marketing strategies of finding the best ways to showcase my works and demonstrate artist’s skills in order to find new commissions.

It seems that we are on the right direction so far as I managed to find a few recurrent customers and I have more than five hundred fans on my Facebook page who, I hope, love my illustrations and drawings.

I decided to release monthly video reports covering my illustrations and drawings created within the period of a month. As this is my first video report, it covers my illustrations (including fashion illustrations and sketches), portraits, caricatures, logos etc. made during last three months (November 2009 – January 2010) since the beginning of my independent career of an illustrator and an artist. I show only those works which I am allowed to show. Unfortunately I cannot show some of really good illustrations for the time being.

You may also like:
My second video report
My third video report
My fourth video report


New Illustrator and Artist Commission: American Wildlife Illustrations

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

In today’s blog post I want to write about my last illustrator and artist commission to draw wild animals of North America. I was hired by Buffalo and Company, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA to create illustrations for their new American wildlife t-shirt series label. The company specializes in a kind of a patriotic clothes design for hats, shirts, t-shirts, polo shirts etc. So they needed cool wildlife drawings to create classy t-shirts with the wild west feel. They wanted me to draw fish (a bass and a rainbow trout), birds (mallards (wild ducks)) and big animals (a bison and an elk). In this post I will show you the final illustrations as well as a few videos I created specially to show you the process of drawing wild animals beginning from a pencil sketch to the complicated illustrations which have been made using the cross-hatching drawing technique. In the videos I tried to indicate the main milestones of the cross-hatching drawing process which might be interesting for those who want to know more how to draw cross-hatching.

I realize that you may think why a Ukrainian artist should draw north American national wildlife. Well, there are at least three reasons why I was chosen for this commission. The first reason is that the guys from Buffalo and Company seem to love my cross-hatching style after I had drawn them an illustration for their apparel catalog a few months ago. You can see the illustration below. It shows bisons grazing on a wheat field on the background of the mountains.

American wildlife, buffalo, bison, field, illustration, drawing by Igor Lukyanov (cross-hatching)

When I was drawing this illustration I was wondering whether the clients would love this cross-hatching style. And they did, and, furthermore, they got back to me with this new wildlife t-shirts project. The other reason is that the animals I have drawn are not something from the other planet for me as similar animals live in Ukraine too. We have bass, trout, mallards, deer (which are similar to elks), and even European bisons (we call them “zoobr”) also known as aurochs (scientifically Bison bonasus). So I know that some of these beautiful animals are really rare and every country can be proud of having such wonderful representatives of fauna on its territory since healthy and rich nature is a treasure of all nations. And the third reason why I was hired to implement this illustration project is my competitive prices for illustrations as for the time being I am looking for extending my independent, freelance illustrator’s portfolio and I am rather flexible about price issues.

But let’s go to the main topic of the post. I want to show the wildlife illustrations I have created and which, I believe, will help to make cool and classy wildlife t-shirts. The illustrations are accompanied with videos showing the drawing process. I guess that the drawing videos will make this post more interesting for artists and people who love pen and pencil drawing.

Bison and Elk Illustrations and Drawing Videos

Bison (American buffalo) illustration, drawing by Igor Lukyanov (cross-hatching)

Elk illustration, drawing by Igor Lukyanov (cross-hatching)

Mallards (Wild Ducks) Illustrations and Drawing Videos

Mallards (wild ducks) illustration, drawing by Igor Lukyanov (cross-hatching)

wild ducks drawing stages by Igor Lukyanov (cross-hatching)

Fish (Bass and Trout) Illustrations and Drawing Video

Fish (bass) illustration, drawing by Igor Lukyanov (cross-hatching)

Fish (rainbow trout) illustration by Igor Lukyanov (cross-hatching)

I also created some cool banners for placing on t-shirts. I made a few banner options to choose from or mix and match on a t-shirt somehow. These banners are designed to create that old wild west feel. Here are how the banners look.

Bison for t-shirt banner by Igor Lukyanov

Banners for wildlife t-shirts by illustrator and artist Igor Lukyanov

Banners for wildlife t-shirts by illustrator and artist Igor Lukyanov

bison banner

I think the guys from Buffalo and Company will take care of the further processing of the banners and the illustrations to perfectly fit them to the company’s t-shirts look and feel. I know that Buffalo and Company has developed its own clothes philosophy which they try to reflect in the apparel they design. This clothing is for those who honor their country, and I wish that every patriot of the USA, who, no doubt, honors America, would want to buy a t-shirt with my American wildlife drawings on it. I wish Buffalo and Company good luck in selling clothes and thanks for hiring me.

Updated on February 27, 2010. I am glad to announce that the first wildlife organic t-shirts with the buffalo drawing have been printed and are available in the Buffalo and Company on-line store.

American buffalo (bison) wildlife t-shirt

American buffalo (bison) wildlife t-shirt

The release of other wildlife t-shirts is planned for the spring.

P.S. You can also see my other animals drawings and illustrations here:
My other wildlife illustrations for Buffalo and Co.
Bison drawing
Panda bears drawings and illustrations
Hunting and fishing drawings
Animals drawings and illustrations
Man and his dog portrait


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