And Feel the City Air (Run Past Your Body)

Today marks  my return to submitting work for the weekly theme of website called Illustration Friday.  The word this week is: Urban.

This drawing was already in the conception stage when the topic came along.  It seemed to fit perfectly.

Terry Underwear

The scene was inspired by a verse in the song “The Stars of Track And Field” by Belle and Sebastian.  Typical of their oeuvre, the song is powerfully swoon-inducing and includes the line, “You only did it so that you could wear his terry underwear and feel the city air run past your body.”

What you see here is the culmination of that encounter…

Although the most obvious urban element is the superimposed photo of the apartment building across the street.  However, the sense of city suffuses the whole idea of the piece.

  1. The fire escape: you wouldn’t see that in any farmhouse I’ve visited.
  2. The size and shape of the window.  This was inspired by a Soho loft I once had the pleasure of working in.  It was owned by an art teacher and an architect and was soooo New York City.  Those super tall windows seem only to exist in converted warehouses.
  3. The aforementioned apartments across the way.  We are obviously not on the ground floor.

You judge for yourself how the piece reads without the slightly gimmicky photo (and coloring):

Terry - Sketch

I think it’s a solid drawing that actually benefits from an atmospheric color and embellishment.  The coloring, sketchy as it is, was designed to connote a very early spring or summer morning, and accentuate the breeze coming in.  It also helps to suggest depth; the contrast of inside and outside.  It generally heightens the mood.

I had considered including the text from the song in the actual work, but art teachers from my early days in Savannah and at Pratt instilled in me an insuperable aversion to “telling”.

So “show” me your true feelings and leave some thoughts in the comments section below.  What does this picture make you feel like?

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This entry was published on April 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm. It’s filed under Digital Drawing, Figures, Illustration Friday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

9 thoughts on “And Feel the City Air (Run Past Your Body)

  1. You did a great job with the lighting. I get a real sense of a breezy early morning in the city. I love the apartment building in the background and your ever increasing use of color. What is the item on the floor?

    • THe item on the floor is some article of clothing. I imagine it’s the characters’ own underwear, which he’s swapped for the mysterious ‘terry’ pair mentioned in the song that that inspired this picture.

  2. It definitely has a warm and breezy early morning feel to it, Gabriel, I can actually feel both the warmth and the cool on that balcony! And the buildings opposite work very well; they don’t look like a photograph to me…

  3. I really enjoy this piece because it’s a close-up, or fragment of urban life.
    It reminds me of living in San Jose, Ca as an art student, and hanging out on the rooftop of the old shops, after closing time, on 7th street in the old part of town.

  4. YEs! The fire escape is an icon of urban living. This works well for IF. I think the piece with color benefits not from the color, but from the light opacity building opposite the figure. I like it!

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