Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dog Portrait Commission: Miles Davis

Just finished this portrait commission of a great dane from Pensacola, Florida named Miles Davis. Based on the reference pictures he seemed to be a combination of stoic, chill, and slightly goofy humorous - all of which I tried to simultaneously translate over into the illustrated portrait. The features that stood out the most to me were the nice gray markings (especially the patch around the gleaming blue-greenish eye and the big triangle on his back), the spotty pink nose, and the stark, simple black collar that seemed to be a really nice punctuation mark on his overall appearance. The Notre Dame football prop is a reference to his owners, who I am told are ND alumni.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Football Sketch

Just for fun while watching the NFL playoffs this weekend, did this quick sketch. Saints and 49ers...crazy game!! Tebow Time over for now, but man what a run this season. And the Giants once again toppling a giant.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

"What an Irritating Gift!"

New illustration appearing in this month's Odyssey Magazine for an article entitled "What an Irritating Gift! Thank You, Dear!" The story, by Nick D'Alto, talks about the birth of pearls through a process of irritation and layering. The setting for the story called for a charming dinner setting where a young marine biologist uses a chocolate covered cherry to explain the process that a oyster goes through once an irritant is introduced within its shell.

chris hsu illustration

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Hoover Dam

During my very first visit to the Hoover Dam I quickly learned that the structure is one of those things you'll see from afar and think, "Ok, so it's a big wall of concrete holding up a river," but once you go in for a close up and learn about it's history, construction, and influence on the development of the untamed landscape of the West you'll truly appreciate it's place in American history. The concept of humans having the technology to divert and control a powerful river is impressive in itself, but when reminded that this thing was built out in the middle of nowhere under the ridiculously harsh Nevada climate without the use of computers it's really amazing. It was fascinating learning about the types of workers (puddlers, scalers, etc.) and to think about how these Depression-era men were motivated to migrate out to this unforgiving landscape for the opportunity to be a part of something big.

What would it have been like to be a rural settler in the '30s out in the middle of Arizona, Nevada, California or anywhere in the Southwest really and to even hear that a massive dam was going to be built into the mighty Colorado River? And then what if they told you that very dam was going to also eventually deliver electricity to you from hundreds of miles away? Would you even believe it to be possible??

On a side note, one thing you have to get close to the Dam to appreciate is the streamlined, simple, and beautiful Art Deco details of it's architecture; from afar you wouldn't even know the designed in such a style. It's unusual because Art Deco is a look that we usually associate with the big city, so to see it out isolated in this pristine valley of vivid red rock makes for really bold contrast. There's also nice works of art and reliefs all about, including the bronze winged statues and some cool mural illustrations by John Rush.