Keiser Coat of Arms

“Keiser Coat of Arms”
Pen and Ink on Illustration Board
16″ x 20″ (matted)

Ideas: This Coat of Arms drawing was commissioned by my great friend and cousin. It presented all new challenges for me and was a very interesting experience to complete. For this drawing I had to take a more minimalist approach, which is a different technique than I am used too. Not overtly complex, not too busy. Simple. That was my mantra throughout this process. My natural inclination is truly antithetical to this sort of aesthetic so that meant a shift in approach. The goal was to take a complex image and break it down into simple shapes and colors. It sounds easy enough on paper, but it was difficult for me to maintain a certain gravitas to the artwork by simplifying the composition as a whole. The solid fields of color that compose the background image of the shield is a more modern representation of this element than many previous drawings. The original German coat of arms for his surname is comprised of the Crown of the Holy Roman Emperor on a red background with three vertical white rectangle forms triangulated around it. Firstly, I turned the crown into a simple presentation of shape and color. (De Stijl certainly influenced this) The three white spaces I turned into simple banner style elements that represent Purdue University where his father played football, Southwest Missouri State where my cousin went to school himself and on the bottom, the Chicago Flag. Our home town symbol subtly connects him to Chicago visually, although he now lives far from here. All in all, it was a very challenging experience to create this drawing. Each of these commissions in different and always interesting. Creating and Learning are two of the most interesting things that our minds do.

• January 23, 2013

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