I’ve been working on a commission since last November and haven’t been able to share the details. I can now share what it is, but not any images, sketches, or work in progress photos yet. I’m thrilled to be working with Walt Disney Imagineering again on a design and illustration project! The graphics group initially commissioned me to design and paint in watercolor the cover for lunch menu for the Coral Reef Restaurant at Epcot. If you have never been, it is one of the nicest dining rooms at Walt Disney World featuring a panoramic view of the aquarium that is also part of The Seas with Nemo & Friends attraction, formally knows asthe Living Seas Pavilion. When if first opened in 1986, it had the largest salt water tank in the world at 5.7 million gallons. However, in 2005 when the Georgia Aquarium opened it became the second largest.
First I had to do quite a bit of research to become familiar with the sea life that was in the tank. One morning I went and photographed the tank from inside the restaurant before guests arrived. Since I was there, I couldn’t help myself and rode The Seas with Nemo & Friends ride, :-), which put me on the other side of the attraction with more views of the big tank and smaller exhibits with aquariums featuring coral, smaller fish, eels, and sea horses. There is also a manatee tank in this area as well. I took well over 500 photos so that I would have plenty of reference material.
I worked out the overall design for the menu cover from all the reference material I gathered doing a number of sketches until I was happy with the composition. I then did a tighter pencil sketch, value study, watercolor color swatches and a half size color comp that was presented to get approval for design. Thegroup at Epcot like it so much, they want to incorporate the painting on, not only the lunch menu, but the dinner and dessert menu too! Now that the design has been approved I will start on the actual painting. I’m putting some other studio work on hold to get back to this project. It has been so much fun doing the research and design and I’m really looking forward to the actual painting part to see it come to life!
Unfortunately I won’t be able to share any images until the menus go to print, which should be some time in April.... so stay tuned!