A lot of younger or newer artists that paint often say they never know when to stop on a painting and then they over-work it. Or they never know when it is done. I feel I usually know when to stop, especially on an illustration because there is a clear deadline. The trickier things are when there is no deadline, and the subject matter is more subjective. Then you just have to know internally what you want the end result to look like. In this case I had the poses I knew I wanted but the back ground?
This is a sci-fi illustration. The bg is totally up to me. I wanted enough information in it to put the figures in context. I was riffing off of one of my favorite artists I looked at in Heavy Metal mag. in the 80's, Tanino Liberatore. He always drew/painted Ran Xerox. Being the early 80's and I lived in a small town with not much art scene, let alone European comics scene, no one had any idea who he was or what else he had done. Then I saw a Frank Zappa album in a record store, "The Man From Utopia". Even in my early high school naivete in art I recognized his style. I didn't know much about Frank Zappa but I purchased the record immediately just for the art. I ended up getting several more Zappa albums over the years, but "Man From Utopia" was my first and probably my favorite. Especially since it was weird enough to aggravate my parents!
I've been sitting on this image in the "almost" finished stage for several months. I still need to tweak it but I don't know if most people will really see a difference from what it looks like right now.
Just a rule of thumb. The last few presidents in the US have had light to almost no eyebrows. President Obama was the first to go hard against this trend. Front runners in the field right now based on eyebrows, and what more valid way to pick a president? are: Gov. Jindel, Bernie Sanders, and now Trump. Jeb Bush seems to have fair to light eyebrows but he hides them behind his glasses. Smart move, and glasses have a tendency to make you look smart. Notice Gov. Perry has been wearing them more. Hillary has distinct eyebrows so she'd lose for sure. You might also notice that President Obama's eyebrows got thinner throughout his presidency. Also the big growth he had on his nose has almost completely disappeared.
Donald Trump has been losing eyebrow prowess for years. My initial caricatures of him from 15 years ago always involved the crazy free radical randomly rebellious depiction of his eyebrows. I thought he could do a comb-over with his eyebrows alone! They are still a little unruly but they got lighter and you really need to look harder for the really extra long hairs. Let's just call them eye-whiskers. He needs them that long so he doesn't bump in to things like a cat.
So here is the process of this past cover for The Week Magazine.
Under drawing. I started the first pose in the office. They asked for the fellow biting Trump's leg and the first try made it look like a compromising situation was in progress so I tried to make it clear that he was not in between Trump's legs.
Using Photo Shop, I through a little color over the pencil drawing for the editors to see where it was going. I had a lot of dead areas in the composition because the boiler plate cover design is a weird place to squeeze a composition in to. Saving room for type, and other spots. I figured I'd use some artistic license and inject the papers flying around. I'm sure they don't use paper on television anymore and just use teleprompters so there would never be this much paper on set.
Raw scan color corrected. My first thought on how to handle the woman was blow out her face with light so she seems as flat as I could get away with. I didn't think editorial would go with it. All three faces have so many signs of plastic surgery and false hair. I really don't like doing their portraits because who knows what they'll look like in a year and then everyone will look at your art and say "that doesn't look like them now".
Laying in one layer on the computer.