Tim OBrien
February 2010
The German Catholic Church
In a new article for Der Spiegel, they claim that nearly 100 clerics and laypeople had been suspected of abusing children and teenagers since 1995.
Many of the cases now surfacing are doing so because the statute of limitations is nearing it's end.  The scandal is a familiar one.  Abuse and cover up by the church.
Last Thursday morning at 9 AM I was asked to have a shot at a cover.  A photoshoot was in progress but I was hired to perhaps add something.
My initial sketch to them was a digital assembly as I had to find reference and see if this was feasible in the first place.  Der Spiegel  kept working on their end and sent me perfect reference by midday.
I worked all night and in the morning had a painting.  The editors went with the photo this time, feeling it was even more arresting.  Sometimes here in the states editors want that distance an illustration can provide.  Der Spiegel is different in it's boldness.
Still, a fun assignment and out of the studio in a flash.  That night I was off to the Society of Illustrators to celebrate our year together.
Here is a quick and awkward sketch. 
It might have worked but they gave me primo reference in the end.
I did move buttons around and remove a grin from the model's face.
But really, it was all about the Napoleon hand.
Painting like it's 1899

I had a fun job recently to paint a landscape for a book cover.  I won't reveal the title until the book is published.  The assignment was to paint a specific place but there was not a good source image to work from.  I had to assemble this scene  with room on top and bottom for type.  Being able to paint a landscape so it looks like it's an old painting is harder than just painting those colors fresh.  Painting a blue sky in a faded and yellowed key is a green.  You have to know that in the painting that color is blue.  That takes some trust and restraint.

Finally, to complete the vintage look I applied cracks on the painting.  This is always a crap shoot for me.  I marvel how Marc Burckhardt  can get such a good reliable crack pattern when he does it.  Mine is always a mess of a pattern but it works.


My hint for doing these kinds of scenes is the use of golf courses for reference.  The neatly trimmed grass often meets a wonderful bank of trees that are easy to see and provided they are the right kind of trees.  

I hear this book is one of a series so I look forward to going back in time again soon.

This is the first version without the cracks and a bit too yellow keyed.  I decided to alter the sky and grass for the final files.
I had fun painting this sky.  I blocked it in and did it kind of sloppy and was happy to see it kind of work as is.  I slightly softened some edges but left it rough to keep the look of a painting.
I actually rub shoe polish into the cracks so that they are a nice reddish brown rather than black.  
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