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This One Sold

July 21, 2013

A regular commenter recently inquired why I had so many illustrations that never sold. I doubt I have more unsold pieces than other professional illustrators but it did make me think that perhaps I should occasionally post illustrations that did sell.



This piece was created in 1994 for Bloomberg Business News for a feature on Rhino Records. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, Rhino Records was a hot outlet for vintage records unavailable from other music sources. I was asked to create a “hippy-dippy” rhinoceros to accompany the article. It was fun painting John Lennon’s granny glasses, peace buttons and zebra go-go boots, but the biggest challenge was painting the ground and receding environment. Also challenging were the instructions from the art director for a narrow picture allowing text to be kerned (wrapped) around part of the image.



As I recall, the turn around time on this project was only a week, which meant I couldn’t use slow-drying oils. This was painted on canvas with fast-drying acrylics. As many of you know, acrylic paint is water based and dries extremely quickly (a plus) but the rapid drying leaves little time to blend colors to avoid a scratchy surface. You might also notice that this picture is much “tighter” than my later more painterly work. 


This project taught me a lot about working quickly. Eventually, I stopped using oils altogether and relied exclusively on acrylics. I retained the copyright to this image and one day hope to find another use for it.





I paint, also, & I don't see how you could get anything done "on time" with oils. I LOVE THIS PAINTING!!
By: fishducky on July 21, 2013
Love the hippy dippy rhino - super cool man!
By: The Bug on July 21, 2013
this guy has so much it. Oma Linda
By: Oma Linda on July 21, 2013
That is one funky rhino.
By: PT Dilloway on July 21, 2013
I like this one and I can see why it sold. Spot on for who you were working for. Excellent. Have a fabulous day. :)
By: Comedy Plus on July 21, 2013
that's pretty cool! i've never used oils. after trying watercolors and tempura, i found acrylics to be my fave. and that's been eons ago since i worked with them. :)
By: TexWisGirl on July 21, 2013
Nice. You did have to squeeze him in there.
By: David Walston on July 21, 2013
Wonderful painting though I wondered why the rhino was posing in the desert.
By: Catalyst/Bruce on July 21, 2013
A very cool piece of work. It certainly works to grab interest.
By: Tom Cochrun on July 21, 2013
What an intriguing piece of work. I'm not a painter, but I enjoy artists with creativity and talent. Well done.
By: Donna Volkenannt on July 21, 2013
Kudos on your thin rhino! I know nothing about painting. But I know a little bit about hippy-dippy. I swear I had a ring like that butterfly-looking necklace.
By: Val on July 21, 2013
Interesting...that painting the ground and the landscape was the difficult part in this illustration. A non-artist like me would never think of that. Nice painting!
By: Pixel Peeper on July 21, 2013
Well, I do see a children's book in your future.
By: Tabor on July 21, 2013
It's "hippy dippy" alright, and I love the way the tusk comes out of the frame. Hope they paid you well for it!
By: tom sightings on July 21, 2013
Excellently done! If only a real rhino could be such a cook and hip character.
By: mimi on July 21, 2013
Very cool. I'll bet it was also a challenge to figure out just where to rest the glasses.
By: Hilary on July 21, 2013
That's fantastic! I agree, you should post more of your illustrations that sold. I love how it moves over into the text, and love the color of it. Very well done :)
By: Kianwi on July 21, 2013
That was cool! I know why that one sold.
By: Red on July 21, 2013
I want to hear the Rhino sing! This image is beautiful- love it!
By: Kathe W. on July 22, 2013
What a great image, so vibrant!
By: John on July 22, 2013
When you are provided with just basic requirements, do you create just one or several samples for the client ? Funky art! :)
By: Daniel LaFrance on July 22, 2013
I can't paint or draw to save my life. But, for what it's worth, I think your rhino is great.
By: Bryan Jones on July 22, 2013
That is very cool. Love the boots. A Rhino wearing zebra boots...very daring if he lives in a zoo where zebras are close at hand.
By: Cheryl P. on July 22, 2013
I remember Rhino Records. That's a great illustration. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on July 22, 2013
I have many Rhino records. Great label. I love the painting. I could never get into acrylics, they just dried to quickly for me! I always used gouache. I doubt I'd know what to do with them now, it's so long since I picked up a paintbrush, unless it's to paint a wall.
By: LL COOL JOE on July 23, 2013
I love this!
By: jenny_o on July 23, 2013
What a cool, cool picture! How'd you managed to make it so "hippy dippy? Hell if I know about that rhino.
By: Al Penwasser on July 27, 2013

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