Jeffery Smith is a California illustrator who employs a palette of rich colors and deep chiaroscuro in the service of compositions that illustrate a broad range of subjects, from portraits, sports, romance and travel, to crime, mystery, conflict and war.
Smith seems to be able to break down the objects, figures and settings in his images into areas of color that feel like isolated shapes, while simultaneously serving as part of the representational image. Combined with his strong value contrasts and a peppering of texture, the result is at once graphic and modeled, conveying a strong sense of mood. His compositions often read as dark punctuated with light, rather than the other way around, even in daylight scenes.
Smith’s extensive client list includes publications like The New York Times, Rolling Stone, New York Magazine, Esquire, Atlantic Monthly, Forbes, Time and Sports Illustrated, as well a numerous book publishers. He has received awards from Communication Arts, the New York Society of Illustrators, Print, the A.I.G.A., the Society of Newspaper Design and the Society of Publication Designers. His work regularly appears in major illustration annuals and he has been profiled in Communication Arts and How magazine.
Smith is now a full time professor at the Art Center College of Design, but still continues to take on freelance illustration assignments.
His web site is hampered by a somewhat awkward navigation system that requires you to use a series of back buttons, rather than offering simple navigation choices from all pages. Once in the galleries, however, and into a particular topic, you can at least navigate through the images in a given section with convenient forward and back buttons.
The galleries include a number of topics, including a section of figure drawings, which are nicely modeled with hatching, and sketchbook selections, as well as his designs for posters.