Obama Wins...McCain Wins..Obama wins..
OCTOBER 22, 2008
I wonder what I will be illustrating in 2009? In 2008 I did many portraits and illustrations of the primary players in this historic election. As we come down to the final weeks, magazines seem to be offering their readers a glimpse at the possible impact of a McCain or an Obama administration( see Zina's post today). The first of these side by side offerings just came out. ABA Journal called and had a dual cover job. On one side the swearing in of Obama and the other the swearing in of McCain. As I was doing this I was watching debates and the close polls and the unknown nature of the future campaign made me super nervous.
A animated gif they made for the web
The comp they sent was a digital comp that was helpful but so much had to be worked out. As I dove in I had to think like a movie director. What would Obama wear, what would his wife wear...OH NO, wait, they're outside. I had to find a coat.
Justice Roberts would swear them in but then there is the background. I had to mess up the background so people were not too recognizable. The funny thing was that the reference had some harsh light in their eyes so they all looked miserable. I wanted a focused scene on the foreground so I merely darkened everything and muted the colors in the background. I had at an early stage in the process suggested that I paint one cover and 'paper-doll' the second pair over the other cover but they thought they would rather have 2 covers. 2 paydays for me so I did not resist. However, painting 2 presidential seals was torture.
In the end I like both covers. I would prefer to see the Obama cover come to life and the McCain cover go into my file of paintings I call, the alternative reality show.
Someday I would like to show the killed jobs I did that were pulled because the story changed. Images would include OJ guilty, Bin Laden killed, Colin Powell runs for president and the newly minted, McCain is sworn in.
The article for ABA Journal is below.
This is the comp I received from them. At first glance I got what this was about but after diving in, it got intense. I was a stylist wondering which coat looked best on which wife.
This is the preferred reality
They key to painting scenes based on various pieces of reference is to throw out the color and lighting and try to just paint in one key and lighting intensity.
This blurry woman in the background was my favorite. When I do these background people I quickly block them in, blur them with a fan brush, then go back in to pick out the features a bit.
The first sketch I sent showed McCain with his hand too high and the AD picked that out as impossible due to his war injury. I had trouble imagining this one as possible. Still, it was fun to find heads for Michelle and Cindy where they were looking in a certain direction that in the end became their dreamy husbands.
No matter who wins, Bush's footprint will be at the podium. Justice Roberts will be around for a L O N G time. All the more reason to vote for Obama. Keep that court split.