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.
Posting about what I make is still a novelty to me. Here is where I show my age. Sit back and cringe. I developed as an artist in the 80's and 90's. Way before the internet and just before the idea that digital art could stand on it's own as a legitimately accepted technique. Fast forward a decade and I'm a bonafide freelance illustrator! I seemed to be getting calls left and right from magazines everywhere. Time mag. New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, and many others that unfortunately do not exist anymore.
All I had to do is work and meet my deadlines. I'd send out the occasional promo card or take an ad out in a book. Simple. The newer or as I like to call them "successful" artists are good at more than just drawing and painting. They can write, demonstrate, and connect with so many people on the web that they just seem to blow up!
Putting every line and thought you have on your website or blog is effortless to them, but not to me. So I labor over what I have and what it looks like and even more about what to say about it. I read too much Ginsburg, Kerouac, Dylan, and Morrison, to know how to write like a sane person! And THIS is why updating my blog here once or twice a week is still special to me.
This for the Houston Press last week. The story was about families arguing over who gets what from the dying relative. They sent me some reference from the Family Feud game show as a way to set up the look they were after. I was fascinated with the samples from the 70's and 80's. I had to give it that look!
Alas they didn't really want the 70's, and they wanted a less exaggerated look. So I sent them a second sketch that they liked better but said I could get a little less formal with the clothing and gestures. Maybe make the arguing siblings a little younger.
I was channeling my comic book days from the early 90's but with a little more of the wisdom I've accumulated over the years. This is about %90 paint and %10 digital. I would have liked to have thought about the painting in the back ground more, but I guess a tidal wave gets the point across?
As an aside. I just checked out the Sargent show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC this past Sunday and it was amazing! Highly recommend! He still got it!
If you subscribe to my newsletter you already saw this. Cover for The Week Magazine out on the stands this week. Today, Wed, I just finished another cover for them. It was much easier than last week's. You'll be able to see it Friday if you have a subscription to The Week. I could do covers for them every week if they asked!
Last week's cover dealt with Jeb Bush announcing his candidacy for President. He must have heard me talking about my annoyance with the choices the people get to choose from for President. It's possible there might be a Clinton and a Bush running for office. Out of 300+ million people in this country and there are only two families that get to run? Really? Sounds like a monopoly and needs to be broken apart.
Maybe they can get the family dog to run next time or the family hamster? The family hamster would at least be cute. He'd have a press conference where we get to watch him on his presidential wheel. The secret service can walk around with him in their pockets. And what world leader wouldn't just melt at his wiggling nose and whiskers? World peace at last.
Iran conflict. Iran wants nuclear weapons. I think they could figure out how to make them aside from US efforts to hamper them with sanctions. Purely from a financial standpoint, I think they are a waste to create and develop. No country is ever willing to use them because a country that has the intellect to develop them will also realize why they should never be used in a war. For all the belly aching Israel and the US have done about how bad Iranian nukes would be, I think the basic problem is respect. A nuclear Iran would suddenly have a lot more respect. The US suddenly had a more diplomatic approach to North Korea once they seemed to have a bomb and they also seem way more unstable to have nukes than Iran. I wander if just giving Iran the respect we give other nations as a nation would cool everything off? We don't have to be buddies but I think that would be great as I would love to check out the historical sites in Iran.
Hassan Rouhani, Pres. of Iran. Cover for The Week Magazine.
Color rough in Photo Shop. Final adjustments are figured out with the art director at this stage.
First under drawing.
Monday morning quarterbacking. As I look at this, I think if I had another day to work on this, I would have made a fancier Genie lamp with more detail that drew from Iran's history. The peace sign on his shirt would have been a bunch of flowers making up the shape. I would have put more texture of feathers on the dove to make it really soft looking. I think the whisp of nuclear steam escaping the lamp might have given me an opportunity to make a reference to something important with the shape or within the curls of smoke?
The final absolutely works as a cover as it came out. Some of the symbols might not have read as quickly with the extra details I would have put in given the chance. For covers for The Week I like to make strong iconic-like images that you recognize quickly and get the point across immediately.