Jon Rogers (under the guise of Pastiche Pastiche) recently worked with 72 and Sunny to create a series of illustrations for a great campaign for AutoTrader. The campaign features two historical characters, a hardy Nordic viking named Helga and a rather more flamboyant French nobleman called Benoit as they seek their ideal cars.
The project features two fantastic, but very varied, characters, did you conceive Helga and Benoit or were they part of the brief from the client from the outset?
The characters were developed by the client, 72 and Sunny, they have a TV campaign running at the moment featuring similar but different characters, using the same themes, French nobility and Nordic viking.
What technique did you use to create the series of illustrations?
I painted the characters, the cars, buildings etc., as individual elements and then composed the image as layers in Photoshop, this allows me to reuse elements in different images, and makes it easier to correct when the client starts making changes and with the illustration.
I usually paint using Winsor & Newton quick drying oils (alkyds), I prefer them to acrylics as you get more time to blend but they still dry within the day, which makes scanning urgent jobs easier too. I sometimes use acrylic paint as a base coat to speed the job along then finish off with alkyds.
They are painted onto primed (Gesso) ‘marine plywood’. It’s flat and textureless, ideal for flatbed scanning, if I painted onto canvas the texture would ruin the scan. I paint in thin layers so there are no lumps or paint texture, this also makes scanning difficult.
If the client wants it to look as if it’s on canvas and ‘aged’ it’s better done in Photoshop, once again it gives me more control over the final image.
You produced this work as part of Phosphor’s ‘Pastiche Pastiche’ portfolio, why do you think some historic styles of art and illustration are still so sought after?
Having been in the business for over 50 years and having to paint in the same style all the time would drive me mad, painting pastiches keeps it fresh and interesting. I’ve had quite a few different portfolios, aliases and styles over the years.
Every job is a challenge, I find it interesting looking at how artists created their original work and then attempting to achieve a similar look, however, cameras and computers make life a little bit easier for me than it was for them.
As for why pastiche is sought after is difficult to generalise, sometimes it’s for novelty or humour, sometimes to piggyback on the quality and image of the original painting and artist.
Are there any past illustration or art styles you haven’t yet exercised commercially, that you would like to work in for future Pastiche Pastiche commissions?
I think I’ve covered just about every style from cave to contemporary painting, some with more success than others but always look forward to the challenge of something new and different.
As you possibly know, I appeared on Sky TV’s “Landscape Artist of the Year” two years running, not because I’m a landscape painter, I just thought it was a challenge and something different to do.