The Drawing Board
Official 2000 New York City Marathon Poster
Marathon artist Andy Yelenak has been selected for the second consecutive year
to create the painting for the official New York City Marathon lithograph
Click for a larger image
The painting is a watercolor
produced about 25% larger than the final printed size of the poster
and limited edition lithograph. The next step following approval
will be shipping the painting to the printer for color separation
The Evolution of Painting
The artist, Andy Yelenak, describes the evolution of this painting:
The only suggestion I
received before designing this painting was to try to include some
famous landmarks of New York, particularly the Empire State Building
and the Chrysler Building. This is easier said than done due to
the nature of the race course. Finding an angle that would show
the runners and the two buildings was a challenge.
You can see the entire
New York skyline from a bridge in Brooklyn, it provides a nice backdrop
for the runners, but the buildings are a distance away and don't
quite carry the impact as a view from Manhattan would.
I've always liked the
contrast of the foliage of Central Park with the geometric shapes
of the surrounding buildings. By including the Empire State Building
and the Chrysler Building towering over the trees of the park, it
creates a dramatic view that could only happen in New York.
To produce a sketch required a trip to the city with my camera.
I walked the course looking for a spot with potential to include
the skyline along the southern border of Central Park.
I found a downhill stretch
that would allow a chance to see the skyline above the trees. An
elevated view is necessary to include both the runners and the cityscape.
I took some photos to bring back to the studio that would supply
the details for my painting.
Photos of trees would be necessary to accurately portray the trees
of the park. To add the runners to my painting I referenced
photos I had taken at other marathons...just for this purpose.
Click for large view
Here's the rough pencil
sketch I emailed to the art director for approval. Once we talked
through what would be included in this view, I was given the green
light to produce a color sketch to show the NYRRC.
Click for large view
This small watercolor
establishes the colorful fall palette for the painting. Beyond giving
the NYRRC a better idea of the final version, creating this sketch
helps me solve any problems with color or value I might run into
with the larger painting. With watercolor you only get one
chance to apply the paint, so this study is basically a practice
run with no great penalty for a mistake.
The final painting is
done on 300 lb French watercolor paper. The base pencil drawing
is completed first, then the watercolor is applied over that. I
work background to foreground and light areas to dark, building
up the value as I go. After the paint has dried, the pencil drawing
is erased right through the watercolor with a kneaded eraser.
Views in Detail
Below are a few details
of the finished painting.
The poster and the limited edition lithograph is available
from the Art of Running International.