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The Pink Beach House

This is the famous Pink Beach House, of Ocean City, New Jersey. Some people call it the Bubble Gum House, because it was owned by Edward Fenimore, who founded the Philadelphia Chewing Gum Corporation. The factory, in Havertown, PA, manufactured such fine products as Swell bubble gum, and El Bubble Gum Cigars.

I posted a picture of it on Instagram last summer and the polarity of comments was very amusing. One person stated, “Love this home. Grew up at 53rd street and the bubble gum house was always our sign that we were almost home. An Ocean City Original.”

On the other hand, another person commented: “Disgusted. Obviously one of the worst houses on the island. I have to look the other way on my run going by. The pink only clashes with the modern aesthetic the rest of the block is trying to portray, #Knockdown.”

Who would have thought that this cute little pink beach house could inspire such vitriol!

Personally, I’ve always loved this pink beach house. It’s a pristine example of mid century modern architecture, right on the ocean. It always reminded me of a birthday cake. I’ve been going to Ocean City, NJ since the 1970’s and not many original examples of this type of house are left, so whenever I find myself in the south end of OC, NJ and see it is still there, it brings me joy.

Here’s a vector drawing I made of the house a few years ago.

 

Pink Beach House

If you find yourself in Ocean City, New Jersey and want to take a look, it’s at the corner of 51st Street and Central Avenue. Hopefully it is still there and stays there for a long time!

Bahamian Lizard

lizard

This is a vectorized lizard drawing based on a photo I took in the Bahamas. The only thing special about this is that I quickly painted a background using the layers app on my iphone, and added it to the sketch. I like the way it roughens up the finished product.

Gradient Mesh Cherries

Cherries made using the mesh gradient tool in illustrator.

This is an exercise I did to learn to use the gradient mesh tool in illustrator. It was kind of self indulgent really, as it doesn’t do a thing to advance my drawing skills. It’s just a matter of tracing some shapes from a photo and then mapping them out with gradient meshes. The end result is kind of fun but not really my style – too air-brush-y for me. But there’s something really fun about doing it. Here’s a screen shot of what the “mesh” looks like:

Gradient Mesh Cherries Screenshot

It takes a bit of practice to get the gradients down the way you want them but I think it’s worth it to learn. This is a powerful tool in illustrator and some use it to make super photo-realistic art.

Here is my original photo. It’s one of my favorites, taken in 2010 at home using a lightbox:

A photo of cherries taken with a lightbox.

Candy Corn Illustration

Candy Corn Vector Illustration

Just a simple illustration of some candy corn, done more for practice than anything else. I’m trying to concentrate on 2 things these days: Getting better at illustrator, and finishing projects. I’m starting to understand that the quality of line is the single most important thing in vector graphics and the only way to acheive that is by practice. Also the overall palette is something that requires a lot of planning and strategy. Just using the eyedropper tools to randomly pick colors from the reference photo is not going to cut it.

I think this would look cute as a note card or a tee-shirt eventually, when the season is right.

Yellow Kimono

vectorized kimono

This illustration is a vectorized kimono, taken from a photo of a kimono from Japan I’ve had since childhood. Basically I was just trying to work on my illustrator skills, trying to get better with the pen tool. I also used the posterize feature in photoshop until I got the shading I wanted. A simple drawing and yet it seems kind of ghostly the way it hangs there, empty.