The sports illustrator records the action and speed of the game or sporting event.
Athletes on a field, or a court, run, jump, and change direction at top speed. The successful sports illustrator captures the action in a style that’s spontaneous yet vivid.
Celebrated sports illustrators like Bart Ford, Daniel Moore, and LeRoy Neiman focused on where the essential action was taking place and sketched quickly to document the play of the game.
While different artists depict motion differently, sports illustrators often paint with bright colors employing the use of expressive line and quick washes of color.
Usually, highly stylized, sports illustrations glamorize sports and the athletes who participate in them.
Sports illustrations grace the covers and pages of magazines; are on posters, and are often recreated as prints.
The goal of sports illustration is to make the viewer feel as if they are in the game; right in the center of the action.
Most sports illustrators love the sport they illustrate whether football, baseball, or soccer and often know a great deal about the finer points of the game. This allows them to interpret the action and anticipate where they should position themselves to see what’s happening. If the sports illustrator is taking photos to bring back to the studio, a knowledge of the game is still essential.
The sports illustrator’s favorite phrase is, “Game on!” They bring the action to us in a way that a photo can’t.