Wall Street Journal Hedcut of Emma Thompson for “Nanny McPhee”

I am just crazy about Emma Thompson…one of my very favorite actors! I remember first seeing her in some British sketch comedies (I suppose on BBC) with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie back in the ’80s. Even then, I was amazed by her talent. I am looking forward to her new film, opening tomorrow, called The Children Act.

Back in 2006 I created a Wall Street Journal hedcut of her to accompany Joe Morgenstern’s review of her film, Nanny McPhee, which she both wrote and starred in. And – in case you’re not familiar with her character from this particular movie – that is indeed a prosthetic nose and tooth and mole and uni-brow, which made this an especially fun portrait to spend time with.

 

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Posted in Academy Awards, Celebrity, Corporate portraits, corporate portraiture, Drawing, Emma Thompson, hedcut, Hedcuts, Illustration, Line Art, Nanny McPhee, News, Pen & Ink, Pen & Ink Drawing, Pen & Ink Illustration, Pen & Ink Portrait, Pen and Ink, Portrait of Emma Thompson, Portraits, Stipple, Stipple drawing, Stipple Illustration, Stipple Portrait, The Children Act, Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Journal Drawing, Wall Street Journal Hedcut, Wall Street Journal Portrait | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pen & Ink Stipple Illustration for Nestlé

NestleBaskin RobbinsI’ve noticed this ad for Baskin Robbins all over the Internet recently. Of course the first thing that comes to mind is how much I’d like to take a break from the drawing board and run to my nearest BR store…which I’m not going to do…well okay, maybe I will…

But mostly – the image reminds me of a pen & ink illustration I created back in the early ’90s for Nestlé which similarly featured falling candy pieces. Pulling the reference photography together was a bit more organic back then without computer-generated aid. You can probably guess that we actually shot the wrappers and candy bits on a flat white surface and all I had to do was eliminate the shadowing to simulate everything in mid-air. I also drew all of the lettering by hand which also seems a bit antiquated today. I sure did enjoy this project. Sort of makes me hungry for a cookie…which I’m not going to go bake…well okay, maybe I will…

Posted in Drawing, Food, Food & Beverage, Food Illustration, Illustration, Pen & Ink, Pen & Ink Drawing, Pen & Ink Illustration, Pen and Ink, Stipple, Stipple drawing, Stipple Illustration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wall Street Journal Hedcut of Ben Kingsley

Ben KingsleyThe new film, Operation Finale, opens this week and it stars two of my favorite actors – Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley. I haven’t had an opportunity to create a Wall Street Journal portrait (hedcut) of Oscar Isaac (yet), but I had to go way back into my files to find one that I’d done of Kingsley. It was featured alongside Joe Morgenstern’s review of a movie called Suspect Zero, and it opened exactly 14 years ago this very week.

Drawing hair can be really tedious, but in seeing this drawing after so many years, I’m sure that rendering his shiny noggin wasn’t a piece of cake either. Boy…put a pair of glasses on him and I could almost use this as my driver’s license photo.

 

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Wall Street Journal Hedcuts for The Incredibles

Incredibles 2

I can’t believe it’s been 14 years since Disney/Pixar released The Incredibles!

No one could possibly enjoy Pixar movies more than I do…I just love ’em! I usually try to catch them opening weekend and I’ve seen most more than once.

With its sequel, Incredibles 2, coming to theaters this Friday, I thought I’d share these two hedcuts from the original film that I drew for The Wall Street Journal back in 2004. Folks don’t usually associate the Journal’s iconic stipple portraits with non-human characters (although I’ve drawn a few politicians that I could argue were less human than those from most animated films). I created the drawing of Mr. Incredible / Bob Parr to accompany film critic Joe Morgenstern’s original glowing review. Then at year’s end, when Joe’s column featured his top ten movies of the year, The Incredibles was selected as his number one film – calling for a second hedcut – this time of its leading lady, Elastigirl / Helen Parr.

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Pen & Ink Stipple Portrait of Saint John Paul II


The Pope John Paul II Cultural Center opened in March, 2001, in Washington, DC. Originally conceived as a Catholic think tank and museum, a newly constructed permanent exhibit called The Gift of Love: the Life of Saint John Paul II opened in 2014, and on April 14th of that same year, the day of John Paul II’s canonization by Pope Francis, the building was renamed The Saint John Paul II National Shrine.

Shortly before the grand re-opening, I was commissioned by Gallagher & Associates to create a pen & ink portrait to be used on a variety of the Shrine’s print materials – including their official stationery, note cards, press releases…and I guess it’s quite possible that the drawing is featured on shopping bags in the gift shop too.

I did quite a bit of research to find just the right reference photos to inspire my portrait, and found some beautiful images taken in the mid-Eighties by Dutch photojournalist, Paul Teixeira who was kind enough to assist me in securing the rights.

Saint John Paul II Shrine

 

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Watercolor Portraits for THE STREET

The Street

This morning’s announcement that Trump has chosen Larry Kudlow (ugh!) to replace Gary Cohn as the White House’s top economic adviser inspired me to rummage through my files to see if I’d ever created a portrait of him…and – I guess I haven’t.

But it makes sense that I thought I might’ve. Kudlow has hosted several shows for CNBC over the years including Kudlow and Cramer, paired with Mad Money’s Jim Cramer. The Street is a financial news and services website founded by Cramer and Martin Peretz about 20 years ago. Although Cramer is their most notable personality, they have many contributors, and in recent years I have been commissioned to create watercolor portraits of dozens of them.

(Above: Jim Cramer, Elisabeth Demarse, Chris Ciaccia, William Inman, Ruben Ramirez, Lindsey Bell, Rocco Pendola, Debra Borchardt, Joe Deaux, James Rogers, Antoine Garna, Jill Malandrino, Debra Peltier, Dan Freed, Scott Gam, Jack Mohr, Herb Greenberg, Laurie Kulikowski, Brittany Umar, Ross Urken)

Posted in Celebrity, cnbc, Corporate, Corporate portraits, corporate portraiture, Drawing, Illustration, jim cramer, mad money, Portraits, the street, Wall Street Journal Hedcut, Wall Street Journal Portrait, Watercolor Portrait, watercolor portraits for The Street | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Portrait of Star Trek: Voyager’s Jeri Ryan re-created in Ministeck

Jeri Ryan

Exactly 20 years ago I created this portrait of actress Jeri Ryan who was starring in Star Trek: Voyager at the time. A limited edition of 500 signed and numbered lithographs were individually autographed by Jeri and sold in Viacom galleries in the U.S. and Star Trek conventions around the world.

Not long ago, a German artist name Uwe Hax reached out to me to share his own interpretation of my portrait of Jeri. Uwe creates his art using tiny plastic tiles called Ministeck, which he compared to Legos.

Lego’s interlocking plastic bricks are traditionally used to construct three-dimensional creations whereas Minsteck tiles are individually clamped onto a plastic base “canvas” to effect two-dimensional imagery.

 

Uwe used more than 19,000 individual tiles to complete his re-creation of my portrait. It’s very possible that this process is even more painstakingly time-consuming than my own. Below is his beautiful finished piece.

Jeri Ryan Ministeck

 

 

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Pen & Ink Portraits of George Will and Sandra Day O’Connor

Portrait of George Will

I’m enjoying a fun, new (hopefully ongoing) gig this year – creating pen & ink portraits for the back page of Washington Lawyer MagazineArt Directed by Jodi Bloom at Design Farm.

My first assignment was a drawing of George Will – a conservative political columnist for The Washington Post. He and I don’t always see eye-to-eye (to say the least), but I do think he’s an awfully smart writer, and I do appreciate the sanity he will sometimes bring to a conservative viewpoint. Bottom line – he recently left the Republican Party over his disapproval of Trump, which made me respect him all the more.

A more recent portrait was of retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Despite the fact that she was appointed by Ronald Reagan, I have always thought of her as a more liberal voice (and vote) on the court, so I was surprised to learn that she considers herself a moderate Republican. 

Sandra Day O'Connor

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Pen and Ink Stipple Portrait (Hedcut) of Donald Trump

Donald TrumpBecause my work is usually so precise and detailed, sometimes I like to loosen myself up with a Life-Drawing class now and then. A while back I spent a day sketching a young woman who posed for us while breast-feeding her child. It was a really lovely composition, but what made the visual a bit jarring was that the child was actually about 6 years old. I liked one of the completed sketches enough to hang it in my studio for awhile. It was interesting to observe the reaction of folks who happened to see it because it was usually presumed that I had drawn the pair inaccurately – the size relationship a bit off-kilter. Of course, I would become defensive…explaining that I had drawn the two of them exactly as I’d seen them.

Drawing Donald Trump presents a similar conundrum. I’ve drawn a zillion portraits over the years so I’ve learned a lot about how the various elements of a face work together…how age can affect the skin…how hair grows out of the scalp and so on. I know this isn’t a startling revelation, but Mr. Trump’s hair simply doesn’t make any sense; one clump of hair will be combed to the right while other strands will cross right over them to the left. Skin tones might vary quite a bit on anyone’s face but there is usually a natural gradation rather than starkly contrasting darks and lights. Bottom line – I really tried to make him look as pleasant as I could for my client.

I have a pretty firm policy of not combining politics with business, and I sure don’t want to start now. Frankly, I didn’t vote for the guy, but I will always strive for a happy and professional working relationship with anyone who might have a different point of view. I always try to play well with others. As an olive branch to Mr. Trump’s most enthusiastic base, let me put it this way…

Untitled-1

Posted in Corporate, Donald Trump, hedcut, Illustration, News, Pen & Ink, Pen & Ink Drawing, Pen & Ink Illustration, Pen & Ink Portrait, Pen and Ink, Portrait of Donald Trump, Stipple, Stipple drawing, Stipple Illustration, Stipple Portrait, Wall Street Journal Drawing, Wall Street Journal Hedcut, Wall Street Journal Portrait | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Portraits for AT&T’s Corporate Headquarters in Dallas

 

AT&T Corporate HeadquartersAfter his invention of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell founded Bell Telephone Company in 1882, which (to make a long story short) later became American Telephone and Telegraph Company – or AT&T. Today, their corporate headquarters are in Dallas, TX.

I was recently commissioned to create graphite portraits of Bell and about two dozen additional people of significance to their history. The drawings were reproduced on metal plaques and are hanging in their lobby and executive boardroom. Here is a partial sampling of the original drawings.

AT&T Portraits

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