Jorge Colombo, a regular artist for The New Yorker, has been sketching glimpses of New York City since May. Not so unusual, save for the fact that he makes these images on his iPhone: dead-end streets beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, sunsets over the East River, families watching that iconic train schedule board at Penn Station.
He uses an application called Brushes on his iPhone. What was his inspiration?
“I got a phone in the beginning of February, and I immediately got the program so I could entertain myself,” says Colombo, who first published his drawings in The New Yorker in 1994. Colombo has been drawing since he was seven, but he discovered an advantage of digital drawing on a nighttime drive to Vermont. “Before, unless I had a flashlight or a miner’s hat, I could not draw in the dark.” (When the sun is up, it’s a bit harder, “because of the glare on the phone,” he says.) It also allows him to draw without being noticed; most pedestrians assume he’s checking his e-mail.
The artist at work is a joy to watch: Colombo begins in broad strokes of color, then adds layers that might contain skylines and geometric shapes, finally ending with specific details. There’s a neon-like quality to the Brushes application that also intrigued me. Read more about Colombo and his New Yorker covers.