As an illustrator, I am sometimes asked to create publicity material for exhibitions of artwork by other artists. Some artists do not allow other artists to use their images even for promotional purposes. So we have to create our way around that obstacle! Interesting.
See how Miko resolved this with a previous gallery commission on Andy Warhol.
In this case, however, the artwork on exhibit is that of an artist from the late 18th, early 19th century, so his copyright is not an issue.
John Cotman lived from 1782 to 1842 and was a wonderful watercolour painter and etcher, and a friend of Turner. He painted seascapes and landscapes and recorded some beautiful buildings.
You may recognise the name Cotman as being a range of watercolour products by the artist materials supplier Winsor & Newton .
Here is how I incorporated his work into the Dulwich Picture Gallery's publicity material for the exhibition of his paintings:
[Click on any image in the gallery to view it as a full-size slideshow.]
For all of the illustrations, I relied on a beautiful watercolour box of the era.
I produced the first illustration as a pencil sketch (the first stage of watercolour painting) with the watercolour box lying on a field of flowers. Cotman's painting of the scene is in full colour, propped up against the box, and used again in the background to depict the actual scene, out of focus to concentrate on the foreground image.
The second illustration, I created in a much simpler form using pen and ink, with just a few lines of grass and the corner of Cotman's painting. Barely suggestions, but enough visual information that the painting was carried out in the countryside.
The third illustration is basically the same but again far simpler, as it is to be used as a logo throughout the gallery.
What do you think of the results?
I thoroughly enjoyed doing the research on John Cotman, as I do on any artist or subject. Generally, my clients already have some information about the subject of their exhibition, so I use that together with a few internet searches. I have learnt over many years how to seek out the most important information in the shortest possible time.
In the meantime, I hope you've enjoyed the illustrations I created for the John Cotman exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.
And if you're looking for an illustrator to do similar work for your gallery or business, get in touch and we'll have a no obligation chat about what I can do for you.