Sue Their #@% Off
posted: December 15, 2009
I love it when personal work and assignments intersect. SooJin Buzelli had seen a painting I did for a book that I've been working on called SHTBNALD.  She gave me an assignment to illustrate and article on suits. Or at least that's the gist I got, because to be honest, the article was pretty heavy slogging. We had a conversation and agreed that the comet as metaphor for suits was pretty cool. Like incoming space debris, litigation is often out of the blue and devastating.

Here's the layout SooJin supplied with my SHTBNALD painting as a place holder. I thought the comet idea worked very well with the subject matter....
Here are the sketches. We agreed on something like the second and last ones....
Because the SHTBNALD paintings were done very spontaneously. I wanted to have the same effect here. I started with a light raw sienna wash and did the inkwork without the benefit of a preliminary drawing, a light table or a projector. I wanted freshness in the line so I did 3 different inkings. The third one really sucked so I won't show that one. The background washes are all done wet on wet and at times it's like juggling chainsaws. I proceeded with two of the inkings until I made the decision to pursue the one that eventually would be the finish. Now here's the weird thing. In the heat of the battle I had a brain cramp and actually made each illo a half inch too deep. Embarrassing to say the least. Luckily SooJin was able to crop the top and it worked out OK. Hopefully she will forget all about that and call me again sometime with another assignment....
As Cathie has pointed out, there is a ton of great illustration in this issue. Check it out here.

Zina Saunders November 23, 2009
I get to say it back to you, Hal: I love this and SHTBNLD.
Victor Juhasz November 23, 2009
This is terrific. Love the sketches. Love that you work so dependent upon spontaneity. It's harrowing but fun when you get the results you're shooting for. Hmmmm...."donenice"
Rob Dunlavey December 15, 2009
I feel very stoopid: what does "SHTBNLD" mean? Maybe you need to email me? Oh yeah, good to see you in such great company; your illustration stands up very well.
Christoph Hitz December 15, 2009
A killer dirty snowball from outer space hitting a building with an attitude and a crotchety entrance, monumental and funny.
Joe Ciardiello December 15, 2009
Hal, I really love these new watercolors you've been doing. Nice that you were able to translate that experimentation to an assignment. Man, that magenta is electric!
harry December 15, 2009
These are great, love the b&w!
Walter Vasconcelos December 15, 2009
Very cool Hal! I like the B/W too.
Richard A Goldberg December 16, 2009
Mark Fisher December 16, 2009
Hal, The B&W's are luscious themselves! burnfish
Hal Mayforth December 16, 2009
Thanks for the comments, guys Christoph, It's always a pleasure to hear your interpretations.
Leo Espinosa December 16, 2009
if it wouldn't be for personal work I bet that city back there wouldn't be so funky. Forget about the acid colors!
All images copyright Hal Mayforth and may not be used without permission | 802-229-2716