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Dellas Graphics Calendar 2012-2013

JUNE 11, 2012
Detail of painting © Bill Mayer 2012

Always such a treat when this Dellas Graphics calendar rolls around. A chance to draw frogs( which I love) and a chance to bounce some fun Ideas off Jim Burke. Always such fun .This year was no different. Started the same as always with the normal batch of thumbnails, some subjects I am sure I have hit on before...some new ones. I always hope to find my way to something compelling and downright fun to illustrate.

There are always so many ideas that it is hard to make up my mind, so I tightened up a few of Jim's favorites and threw in a few of mine. Always hoping to flush out just the right one. This year I I fell in love with this little Devil character and hoped to add an Hieronymus Bosch scene of a battle between the hoards of bugs and helpless frogs being slaughtered and tortured. However all of this seemed just a bit too dark so I added some little dancing figures to add to the pagan romp. Rendering all of this seemed daunting so I almost shelved the whole thing.


Then I thought if I kept the figures simplified like silhouetted little embers, that might just work...so I did some thumbnail scenes of battling bugs and dancing devil frogs. I scanned them in and built a little Bosch environment to embellish the large figure.I added a simple fortress in the same silhouetted way, keeping the whole illustration dark in tone...not exactly what I had originally thought about doing, but I am lazy so it was as good as it was going to get.
Detail of painting © Bill Mayer 2012

Detail of painting © Bill Mayer 2012

Detail of painting © Bill Mayer 2012

Detail of painting © Bill Mayer 2012

© Bill Mayer 2012
There is always plenty of time on these guys ,so it sat around for a month or so while I worked on other stuff. I figured at this point I had not heard from Jim in a while, so  maybe time to check in and see when he needed the art .I still had a couple of the thumbnails I had really liked in the beginning, before we we went off in this direction of the devil.  Monday morning I dug out the old thumbnails and inked in the main characters, then started on the crowd. Actually, the crowd took longer than the main characters. By the end of the day I had them all scanned in and put together. Ready to start on color.
© Bill Mayer 2012
Tuesday , I played around with color. I really liked the black and white, so at first color was very limited and cautiously added.The very first thing I tried was a red carpet. I love black, red and white. The limited color can look so sophistcated. It just kind of grew in this direction , I guess that's the way it always happens. I still like the heavy strong black and white drawing without color alot and it took a while to stumble on something I liked more. I finished it, or at least thought I had finished it enough to fire it off to Jim  to see if he liked it...
© Bill Mayer 2012

I think Jim had already made up his mind before even seeing it... i think I liked the "Devil" too, so this one was just not going to make the cut. I had one last thought, and a few more frog drawings rolling around in my head . I added a little "fly boutonniere" on the HIp-Hop-ster's lapel. Silly I know, Lee laughed but said know one will ever see that... Anyway, always such a treat to do one of these frog drawings. Jim is such a delight to bounce ideas off of and the results always leave me with a really great feeling about work. Thanks a ton Jim, can't wait to see what all of the other folks do...
Detail of painting © Bill Mayer 2012