December 23rd, 2018

The Big Fella

Artist: Conrad McEwan, United Kingdom
Artist Statement: For this piece I wanted to make Santa look more real, after all, he is based on Saint Nicholas from Asia Minor in the 1st Century AD. The golden halo is a nod to the religious iconography associated with him, combined with the more modern version we know today. The hipster mustache is quite contemporary, but also harks back to days gone by. Although he is lit from below, which is usually quite a sinister lighting, I wanted to give the impression of him by a warm fire or lit by Christmas tree lights. The hatching style is a quick way of building up tonal values while allowing for some subtlety. It always amazes me that close up it is just a bunch of squiggles and marks on a page, but from a distance, the whole picture comes into better focus. Apart from all of this, it’s just a festive picture to help get me in the mood.

MEDIA: Ink, metallic ink, and paint markers
SURFACE: Nova Series – Heavyweight – 150 gsm – Grey – Medium Grain Finish

Conrad McEwan is a freelance commercial illustrator and graphic designer from Leicestershire in the UK. Having spent most of his career on digital work for clients, he was keen to get back to using more traditional media when he joined Leicester Sketch Club recently and create art for himself. He works with several different media and each has their own style, but he mainly works with pens. He enjoys working on toned paper with a limited colour palette, as it’s fairly quick but also can look really effective. His ethos is that you don’t need to spend a fortune on fancy art supplies as long as the surface you’re working on is good quality. Having suffered with arthritis all his adult life, sketching can be a distraction from the pain and a relief when a lack of mobility forces him to stay indoors. When he can, he does enjoy urban sketching although it is much harder in the winter months. Conrad plans to develop his work a little more and prepare a body of work for an exhibition in the new year. He is also in the process of updating his Etsy shop where some of his digital lino-cut prints are available. These are digital drawings using lino-cut techniques created on an IPad Pro using Adobe Draw. He is available for commissions for both portraits and illustration work.
Instagram: @mcewan_creative
Twitter: @mcewancreative


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