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Albert Einstein

APRIL 30, 2009
There are certain paintings I'm asked to do every few years.  This is most true for Albert Einstein.  Mike Diioia of Discover Magazine asked me to paint his portrait for the cover of a special issue on the famed genius, on newstands now.
I did a portrait of Einstein for the Person of the Century for TIME in 1999, just as my son Cassius was due to be born.  His likeness was a more recognizable at this age, but for this piece, I was asked to go for younger.  The palette too was to be brighter as well.
The image is based on a decent photo of his head and blurry hair,  but in this case they wanted a bright, vibrant and current looking image of Einstein that was accurate as well.  Illustration is always the best option.

The trick with doing these tiny brushstrokes is to keep them close to the color and value you are painting over.  If they vary too much the portrait can end up looking a million years old.
I've worked for Mike for years and it's always a pleasure.

Here is the painting I did for TIME Magazine's choice for Person of the Century in 1999.
This is the sketch roughed out for the client.  I am always sheepish about pumping up the color so I had to show one with muted colors.  I can't help myself.
Approved background color.
Some detail of the face. 

In a perfect world, THIS is the cover!  I like the hair as it goes into the head here as I painted it very 'wet into wet'.

Below is the imagined cover if the cropping were the version.

In the end, peach covers must not sell well.  It looks pretty dismal.