July 18, 2007

Anatomy of a Quick Piece

It is 2004. The 'ville still a chill Sunday spot. I would get bagged here a year later but lets not get into that. Today I am
scoping out a wall to do an R.I.P. piece for a friend and fellow ex-writer who has recently passed.

I Find a good spot where there is a straight-letter dissed by a scratch fill. Perfect. I start the prelim using same color as a
planned fill-in, but any color would do fine. Same color prelim/fill gives me a head start.

Next I fill in, doing a solid scheme with no details, bits, or designs, just 2-colors. I plan on the fill being quick, today I am
going a bit more tech with the outline tecniques and don't want to overkill with too much going on in the fill. The outline will be cut and cleaned so I don't have to worry about mistakes just yet.

Here I start the cleanup process to make the outline sharper. Probably the most important and most misunderstood part that will have a dramatic effect on the piece. The secret is to use the same color as the fill to erase the outline color(in this case black) in order to remove any overspray and to "cut corners" in order to build the right angles(hence the term "cuts" or "cutbacks").

Now I complete the 3D and add an "inline" to it. "Inlines" were the hot thing in the late 90's and really referred to an inner-outline on the fill side of a piece, but got outdated over the years. More recently it has been popular doing it in the 3d, but is consequently proven to be shortlived. I'd say by the end of '04 these 3d inlines had already become played out in much of the U.S. This piece is painted in the late summer so I was cutting it close! lol. The inlines here are Montana Bright Blue. Difficult to see as it hides in the black, but this is done to add effect to the 3D while still keeping it more subtle.

Finally, highlights(white), Forcefield(lavendar), bubbles, and shoutouts are added to complete the piece. Note the highlights aren't touching the outline in all places, they are 'offset' to add a more balloon-like texture to each letter. Very common in the 80's to do this, and seems like everyone's doing it again. The piece probably takes about 45 minutes, which is rather quick, but keep in mind the piece is by no means large, nor was there a background rolled behind it, or any of that stuff. It was more of a 'kill an hour on a sunday' sort of thing.

Comments: The finished product is a quick slam, a non-traditional, more poppy, trendier, fun piece that was simple to do but relied mostly on its contemporary style. It takes me longer to do traditional letters, as they are harder to construct and usually have to look 'perfect', to the eye of a critic who studies letterform from the 80's and 90's. A more non-traditional piece allows a bit more play and freedom, but IMO tells the audience that you may be disregarding craft/structure in favor of flashiness. But is it really all about the audience? Not really. My approach to this dilemmna is to add a little bit of both to your arsenal It will make you more diverse, well-rounded, and less of a one-trick pony. The downside is that you will find yourself constantly trying to perfect or master a particular style, without ever getting there. What is key is that your overall look compliments its own school of thought, and adds something to your resume while learning something in the process, motivating others on the outset. That's my regurgitated take on it. Well, anyway, hope you found this interesting regardless if you write or not! Rest in Piece Hans, Amy, and Eric. Like this piece says(although I left that part out), You'll be Missed!!
*Submitted by R.S. a long time ago*


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