Sunday, February 28, 2010

FDR Obama for The Weekly Standard

This past week I did another one - day - turnaround Obama for The Weekly Standard. What can I say? The Weekly Standard is by far my best client, they are great to work with, I've done over 35 paintings for them . . . that's nothing compared to the piles and piles of paintings my friend Tom Fluharty has done for them, but I still get excited and look forward to every time I get to work with them. I always try to give my all no matter what the time crunch is.

Almost every time I work with the Standard, the deadline is super quick. It doesn't matter if it's a cover or a spot illustration. I don't know if I've ever had more than two, maybe three days to turn something around for them. I learn a great deal about myself while working on these jobs, and I learn a great deal about what not to do the next time around. Still, it's important to me that the art is good and that it does it's job. It must tell the story that the art director and editor are after, and it must also meet my standards.

This job was no different. The final art that is posted above was all in a days work. I'll explain more below.

This is how the final art will appear in the magazine. The open space above is for the title and text for the article. I liked the painterly look on the edges of the background . . . turned out like this mainly because I was in such a rush.

This was the first sketch I did after getting off the phone with the art director on Wednesday night. About a five minute sketch. It was already time for me to go home for the day, so I would start fresh in the morning. I would have all day Thursday and Friday to complete the illustration.

I wasn't 100% sure what the a.d. wanted, if it was a parody of Obama in the exact pose as FDR or if I should take it to another place. The article hadn't yet been handed in. So until I heard back on what exactly I was going to be drawing, I did this sketch and sent it to the a.d. to get a reaction on whether this was in fact the direction he wanted to go? This sketch was done in about 20 minutes or so.

At this point I had already begun to block in Obama's face, trying to give my self a head start. The a.d. and I talked about different ways to tell the story, and in the end, this sketch just wasn't doing it for either of us, so . . . .

. . . it was time to start again. The a.d. thought it would be funny to show Obama swimming in FDR's clothing . . . everything is too big for him, so I did this new sketch and sent it off as quick as I could to get the OK to move on and take it to the finish. This was near the end of the day, as I do not work nights unless I have to. The sketch was approved.

I then spent my last bit of the day painting his face. I wanted to get it to a point where I would feel settled enough to go home for the day, knowing that I had to finish everything the following day.

Late Thursday night after my kids were in bed, I decided to go back into the studio for a couple hours. Something about the face was really bothering me, it wasn't capturing the likeness or humor that I wanted or that the piece needed. So I found some new references and began sketching . . . and this was the version I settled with. It was now to a point where I could go to sleep and feel good about the work I had done that day.

I was in my studio again around 5:00 a.m. Now that the sketch was how I wanted it, I had until 5:00 p.m. to complete the entire painting. It was a long and brutal day, and for the next 12 hours, I painted non-stop. I took about a 20 minute lunch break somewhere in the midst of my painting frenzy!

All in all, I'm happy with the way the painting turned out, learned a lot and even though it was tough, I had a blast . . . I love my job!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


I havent posted anything on this blog for a couple weeks so i decided to put up the caricature of my friend shawn. hope you like it

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The People VS George Lucas World Premiere @ SXSW!!
It's been a while since I've had any time to post any new work, most of what I've been doing lately cannot be shared on line for quite some time. I can finally share my most recent project, the official movie poster for "The People VS George Lucas". A lot of work went into this piece. I don't want to go on too much right now, but I do want to thank my pal Otto for shooting great reference pics for me and of course my models, Nathan Cameron, Josh Helle and my father-in-law Vic Williams, who sort of looks like George Lucas. And last but not least my wife and kids for putting up with all the late nights and long hours! I should also say that my friend Thor did the layout and design of the poster, and I think he did an excellent job!

THE PEOPLE vs. GEORGE LUCAS will finally world premiere, fresh off the editing press, at the prestigious South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas (March 12th to March 21st 2010)! They included the film in their prestigious Spotlight Premiere section, alongside the latest releases from Steven Soderbergh, Michel Gondry, Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Shane

Click here to watch the 2nd Teaser Trailer.


DENVER, CO-February 4, 2010-THE PEOPLE vs. GEORGE LUCAS has been selected for the prestigious Spotlight Premiere section at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas, which runs from March 12th to 21st 2010.

“The team is ecstatic to be screening at SXSW for the film’s world premiere,” says Director Alexandre O. Philippe, “it’s the ideal platform for our launch, as the festival brings together indie films, music and interactive in a unique way that very much reflects the participatory nature of our doc.”

THE PEOPLE vs. GEORGE LUCAS explores the titanic struggle between a Godlike filmmaker and his legions of fans over the most popular franchise in movie history. “At its core, PvsG is the examination of a high-profile, dysfunctional love story”, says Philippe. “George created this humongous and intricate sandbox for us to play in; but is he the sole owner of it, or does it now belong to the ages? And what happens to your role as a creator when your audience claims it owns your art? We basically looked at the conflicted dynamic between George and his fans from a cultural perspective, and asked ourselves those questions.”

The documentary features key testimonies from the likes of Gary Kurtz (Producer of AMERICAN GRAFITTI, STAR WARS and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK), Neil Gaiman (THE SANDMAN, AMERICAN GODS), Dave Prowse (aka Darth Vader), Anthony Waye (Executive Producer of the BOND franchise), and Dale Pollock (George Lucas’s Biographer, Author of SKYWALKING).

THE PEOPLE vs. GEORGE LUCAS inventively combines these exclusive interviews with fan footage from around the globe, and impassioned testimonies from George’s staunchest fans and foes. “Making this film was a huge investigative challenge, considering how many people were afraid to talk to us. George is a very powerful man. But we stuck to our guns and dug deep to deliver a completely uncensored, no-holds-barred factual account, and, ultimately, what we hope will be recognized as a loving tribute,” says DoP Robert Muratore.

“The obstacles we faced made us really think about the rapidly changing filmmaking landscape, and so we used digital technology to facilitate an open call for contributions - allowing us to make a fully participatory documentary”, says Producer Anna Higgs, known for cross-platform work in the UK and Europe. “In many ways, it’s a tribute to the YouTube generation, which Lucas’s advances in technology helped create,” points out Producer Kerry Roy; “fundamentally, it’s about how new media interacts with old media, as well as ownership and copyright in the digital age; and it was our intent from day one to give the fans a prevailing voice in the doc.”

The crew worked relentlessly for two and a half years to produce the most accurate, thorough, and impartial deconstruction of an entire generation’s love-hate for the man (admittedly) responsible for their childhood’s mythos; and they acknowledge that this project wouldn’t have been possible without the extraordinary support and encouragement from the fans and contributing filmmakers. “63,686 frequent flier miles, 634 hours of footage, 14TB of drive space, 126 interviews, 719 fan submissions, thousands of fan emails, and only three death threats. The positives outweigh the negatives, I suppose,” jests Producer Vanessa Philippe.

“We were driven by our own admiration for George, profound love of his films, obsession for their significance in popular culture, and opinions about their legacy as cultural milestones,” says Alexandre Philippe.