all illustrations, c. Kevin Sprouls
This week, I’m featuring three of my early illustrations. These were created when I was a student at Tyler School of Art, an arm of Temple University in Philadelphia. While I was at Tyler, I took a few design and illustrtion courses. One of my assignments was to take an old master painting and bring it up to date, or modernize it. I chose this painting by Franz Hals:
I then brought this jaunty figure into the twentieth century…
It was a fun project, with a mixed media approach. I think there are watercolors, Dr. Martin’s dyes, colored pencil and, of course ink line work incorporated here. Why the eyebrow areas are different colors, I can’t say!
The next illustration was created during summer break. I was traveling in Ireland at the time, and carried a big pad and some rapidograph pens with me. One evening, while staying at a youth hostel out in the country, I created this piece. I had drunk a lot of tea and worked long hours on it…
Of course, this illustration wasn’t completed in one night, but it had its origins in that rural hostel. This is an example of a drawing from scratch — I made it up as I went along. No sketch and no plan. It contains a very high degree of detail, as you can see!
The next, final, illustration may also have been drawn in Ireland. It certainly has that kind of feel to it. That is a penny-whistle and an old Irish-looking tree in the background. This is likely my best rendition of a tree. I find them very challenging to draw. This image, by the way, was created using a dip pen.
This drawing appears to be from 1977. Another ‘from scratch’ piece. I like the way the hand turned out. It has a duo-tone appearance because different dilutions of ink were used.
I’ll have more early work for you in the next post. Thanks for viewing and reading about my illustrations.