Saturday, July 23, 2011

Everything Old is New Again

I love using historic images in my art.  There are so many different styles present in old posters, and it's amazing how the messages apply to what's going on today. 

One of my favorite eras for this kind of poster is World War I.  This is when the famous "Uncle Sam Wants You" poster was created, and it's the first time that this kind of art was used on a large scale in the U.S.  In the days before television and the internet the main ways of getting information to the public were via the press and posters such as the one shown above left, which was the inspiration for the one next to it.

I love taking these images and tweaking them, brightening the colors and adding verbiage, as well as by changing the artwork to, in this case, represent Sarah Palin.  Changing the face in an image like this is time consuming and sometimes impossible, but when it works, it's fabulous.  Here's a close up of Sarah's face in the style of this poster:

Her face is challenging, not because of her features, but because of her glasses.  It makes it difficult to make an historic poster look like her, and yet be true to the period.  Sometimes you just have to go for it and not worry if it isn't perfect. 

Color images are probably the most difficult, but black and white photos can also be tough.  Most of us think that black and white is just that, black and white.  Unfortunately, that's not the case.  Some have a brown or sepia cast, while others are more black and gray than black and white.  Taking a photo from one era, converting it to black and white and making it work with an image from a totally different era is no easy task.  It took me several tries to get the poster below right.  It's based on the original photograph of Annie Oakley on the left.

The other thing you may notice is that the images on the left are wider than the ones on the left.  The reason for this is that all of the posters I make are sized to be printed at 11 x 17, which can be printed on many home printers, and are not expensive to have printed elsewhere. 

Stay tuned for more historic based posters.  If you want to be notified of free downloads as they become available, go to our site http// to sign up.

Hope you enjoy!


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