Client of the Day Drawings

It looks like the exhibit at a hair salon might not be happening anytime soon.  But it did get me reminiscing about a project that I did for salon for close to two years: help them celebrate Client(s) of the Day with art!  A client coming in would be randomly selected to receive a prize, and I would create a special image for that client on a black dry erase board.

I always tried to think of an image that evoked the client’s name.  Some of the easiest imagery to come up with were famous cartoon characters.  When I drew these, I always thought about my mother’s late father, who was a baker.  He could draw anything on a cake with icing, including the likenesses of famous cartoon characters.

The best drawings, however, were realistic portraits.  I drew these in much the same way as I paint: starting with green on black.  I then layer the primary colors to represent value, followed by layers of “true color.”  With the liquid chalk markers, I was able to get an almost impressionistic effect.

Ward Cleaver

Ward Cleaver

Madonna as Evita

Madonna as Evita

Maryann from Gilligan's Island

Maryann from Gilligan’s Island

Mary, Mother of God

Mary, Mother of God

Little Debbie

Little Debbie

Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn

Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia

Erol Flynn

Erol Flynn

This is my very favorite portrait, mainly because it is one of my favorite musical artists of all time.  Therefore, I will give you more than one view!

Judy Garland

Judy Garland

Judy 4

Judy 1

Then, there were a few realistic non-portraiture pieces with which I was also quite pleased:

Titanic

Titanic

Macintosh computer

Macintosh computer

Martini and cupcake

Martini and cupcake

After awhile, I got to the point where I felt proficient with this medium.  In fact, I learned a few things from this process that translated to painting, like good color combinations for flesh tones.  I actually wish paint would layer as easily as these markers!  They are transparent enough to be layered, but opaque enough to make their presence seen.

2 thoughts on “Client of the Day Drawings

  1. I’ve never tried these markers but you’re a master Dean! I’m amazed at the richness and depth you get with a medium I always thought looked a bit thin – it must be the way you approach colour and tone, they are so painterly, I love them; lucky clients! And what a great thing for a business to do, very imaginative, well done the Salon, and well done you mate!

    • Phil, thank you for the high praise! You are absolutely right in comparing my approach to painting. So many of the steps overlap!

      I will tell you the two factors that made this medium work for me. The first is that I was working on a black, rather than white dry-erase board. In my opinion, a black under-layer adds a lot of depth. I was also able to leave empty space wherever I wanted there to be a line or black spotting.

      The second factor is the type of marker I used. They are called “chalk markers,” because the marks they make are somewhat chalk-like. There’s a little bit of white in each of them, which makes them slightly opaque. In contrast, a standard dry-erase marker is definitely too thin.

      It is always exciting to figure out a new medium, and this was no exception….

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