New Pen & Ink Portraits of Xi Jinping, Jack Ma and Steve Jobs

Xi JinpingI often use this space to share hedcuts of celebrities that I’ve created for The Wall Street Journal over the years – usually coinciding with a new film opening. It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recent effort, so here are a few brand new, hot-off-the-drawing-board portraits.

I just put the finishing dots on the drawing above of Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China. And speaking of China, Jack Ma (below, left), the founder of Alibaba Group is one of China’s (and the world’s) most successful businessmen and entrepreneurs. He has often been referred to as “the Chinese Steve Jobs” – who was the subject of another of my recent hedcut portraits (below, right).

Jack Ma | Steve Jobs

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Posted in Drawing, hedcut, Illustration, Line Art, News, Pen & Ink, Pen & Ink Drawing, Pen & Ink Illustration, Pen & Ink Portrait, Pen and Ink, Portrait of Jack Ma, Portrait of Steve Jobs, Portrait of Xi Jinping, Portraits, Stipple, Stipple drawing, Stipple Illustration, Stipple Portrait, Wall Street Journal Drawing, Wall Street Journal Hedcut, Wall Street Journal Portrait | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WSJ Hedcut Portraits of Dwayne Johnson and Johnny Depp

Dwayne Johnson / Johnny Depp

A couple of heavily promoted blockbuster-hopefuls opened over the Memorial Day weekend: Baywatch and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Frankly, I have zero interest in seeing either one of ’em, but I suspect they’ll both be huge hits, so good for them.

I had the opportunity to create “hedcut” portraits of the stars of both films in the past for The Wall Street Journal. When I drew Dwayne Johnson back in 2003 for a movie called The Rundown, he was still being billed professionally as “The Rock”. My portrait of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow was from 2007’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.

Posted in Celebrity, Dwayne Johnson, hedcut, Johnny Depp, Pen & Ink, Pen & Ink Drawing, Pen & Ink Illustration, Pen & Ink Portrait, Pen and Ink, Portrait of Dwayne Johnson, Portrait of Jack Sparrow, Portrait of Johnny Depp, Portrait of The Rock, Portraits, Stipple, Stipple drawing, Stipple Illustration, Stipple Portrait, Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Journal Drawing, Wall Street Journal Hedcut, Wall Street Journal Portrait | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wall Street Journal Hedcuts of Samuel L. Jackson…and Kong

Samuel L. Jackson

Kong: Skull Island opens in theaters today and I actually got tickets to see it over the weekend! One of its stars also happens to be one of my favorite actors – Samuel L. Jackson. I had the opportunity to create five separate hedcuts of him for The Wall Street Journal over the years, and two that I particularly like are above. (Interesting that he is looking off to the left in both portraits.) The first drawing is from the 2003 film, S.W.A.T., and the second is from 2006’s Freedomland.

King Kong

 

Back in 2005, I created a hedcut for the Journal of the big ape himself for Peter Jackson’s remake of King Kong. It was definitely a fun change of pace from my more traditional portraits, but boy – all that facial hair sure took lots of dots!

Posted in Celebrity, Drawing, hedcut, Illustration, King Kong, Kong, Kong: Skull Island, Pen & Ink, Pen & Ink Drawing, Pen & Ink Illustration, Pen & Ink Portrait, Pen and Ink, Portrait of Samuel L. Jackson, Portraits, Samuel L. Jackson, Stipple, Stipple drawing, Stipple Illustration, Stipple Portrait, Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Journal Drawing, Wall Street Journal Hedcut, Wall Street Journal Portrait | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cover Artwork for “His Girl Friday”, Starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell

His Girl Friday

I have long admired the folks at The Criterion Collection, a film distribution company that specializes in restoring and re-releasing important classic and contemporary films targeted at film aficionados. They have also received lots of praise over the years for their first-class and imaginative packaging design.

His Girl Friday Cover ArtThis past fall I was commissioned to create an illustration to be used for the cover of their brand new, digital restoration of Howard Hawks’ 1940 classic, His Girl Friday starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. An adaptation of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s play, The Front Page, the entire film takes place in a fast-paced metropolitan newsroom, and the folks at Criterion were looking for an illustration that would emulate the pen & ink drawing styles popular in newspapers at that time.

This beautiful boxed set, which includes a generous collection of extra features, was released this past month, and is available directly from The Criterion Collection’s website, Amazon, or wherever media is sold.

Posted in Academy Awards, Celebrity, Illustration, News, Pen & Ink, Pen & Ink Drawing, Pen & Ink Illustration, Pen & Ink Portrait, Pen and Ink, Stipple, Stipple drawing, Stipple Illustration, Stipple Portrait | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pen and Ink Stipple Portrait of Amy Adams

Amy AdamsThis past week I’ve noticed that people in my life are posting lots of pictures and videos of cute puppies and kittens – in an effort to get our minds off the election results. Anything to bring a much needed smile to our faces…

Well, the Hollywood equivalent of one of these joy-inducing distractions might just be Amy Adams. To me, she has been a consistently warm and wonderful actress, and this post-election season brings us not one but two opportunities to enjoy her talents.

I saw Denis Villeneuve’s “The Arrival” this past weekend and thought it was pretty terrific. Surprising and thought-provoking, with a central performance by Adams that I suspect will make her a front-runner during awards season.

Adams stars again this coming weekend in Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals”, costarring Jake Gyllenhaal, and previews would suggest a stark contrast to her earlier role. I’m looking forward to it!

In 2007, I had the opportunity to create a hedcut of Adams for The Wall Street Journal, accompanying the review for her very first starring role, in Disney’s “Enchanted”.

Posted in Academy Awards, Celebrity, hedcut, Illustration, Pen & Ink, Pen & Ink Drawing, Pen & Ink Illustration, Pen & Ink Portrait, Pen and Ink, Portraits, Stipple, Stipple drawing, Stipple Illustration, Stipple Portrait, Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Journal Drawing, Wall Street Journal Hedcut, Wall Street Journal Portrait | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pen & Ink Stipple Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth IIThe first season of Peter Morgan’s “The Crown” premieres tonight on Netflix, and I can’t wait! Morgan wrote the film “The Queen” and the play “The Audience” – both featuring Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II, and I loved both! I saw “The Audience” on Broadway last year, and similarly, this new limited series portrays Elizabeth from a young woman through present day. Stephen Daldry, who directed the play, also helmed the first of ten episodes.

Recently, I was commissioned by a publisher in Great Britain to create a pen and ink drawing of Queen Elizabeth using her official 1977 Silver Jubilee portrait from newspapers as my reference. A nice opportunity … and I learned that I do not really enjoy drawing crowns.

Posted in Celebrity, Drawing, Hecuts, hedcut, Helen Mirren, Illustration, News, Pen & Ink, Pen & Ink Drawing, Pen & Ink Illustration, Pen & Ink Portrait, Pen and Ink, Peter Morgan, Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, Portraits, Queen Elizabeth II, Silver Jubilee, Stipple, Stipple drawing, Stipple Illustration, Stipple Portrait, The Crown, Wall Street Journal Hedcut, Wall Street Journal Portrait | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wall Street Journal Hedcuts of Tom Hanks

Tom HanksTom Hanks’ new movie “Sully” opened this past weekend to pretty good reviews. I rarely get the opportunity to create portraits of celebrities for the Wall Street Journal anymore, but drawing Hanks with Airline Pilot Chesley Sullenberger’s recognizably bright white hair and mustache might’ve been a fun challenge!

I’ve drawn Tom Hanks for the Journal innumerable times over the years, so I thought I’d share a few here. The first two are particularly interesting because of the way his appearance was altered for the roles he was playing. He wore a prosthetic nose and teeth for Joel and Ethan Coen’s “The Ladykillers” (2004), and was animated as the Conductor in Robert Zemeckis’s “The Polar Express” (2004). In Steven Spielberg’s “The Terminal” (2004), Hanks played a gentleman named Viktor Navorski. He looked completely natural but spoke with an Eastern European accent (can you tell by the drawing?). Finally, in Ron Howard’s “The Da Vinci Code” (2006), Tom played Dr. Robert Langdon with uncustomary long hair.

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My contribution to “Batman Black and White: The Sketch Covers”

Batman Black and White

A couple of years ago, my pal – Writer/Designer extraordinaireChip Kidd, created a short story for DC Comics’ limited series, Batman: Black and White. This particular collector’s edition was wrapped in a mostly blank white cover (with text in place) which allowed readers to use their talents and imagination to create their own original artwork for the cover.

Chip took the idea a step further and began asking well-known artists and illustrators to take a stab at creating a cover in their own unique styles. I was really excited when Chip asked me to participate a while back, particularly when I heard about some of the other artists who would be lending their own talents to the project…many are personal favorites. (You can check out the list of contributors HERE.) And, Chip offered us carte blanche to create whatever we wanted to do.

Batman SerialI was definitely a comic book geek when I was a kid. I loved anything DC, and I was a huge fan of the campy old TV series with Adam West. Batman was first portrayed on screen by an actor named Lewis Wilson in a movie serial released in 1943. When I was ten, my folks dropped my older brother and myself off at an independent movie theater that was doing a retrospective of old serials, and we enthusiastically sat through all 15 cliff-hanger episodes – almost 5 hours! I chose to feature a portrait of Wilson for my cover because I thought it might be unique (it appears that actors who portrayed superheroes back then weren’t pressured to spend as much time in the gym as they are today) but mostly – I just have terrific memories of sitting in the dark with my brother that day, enjoying the movie and eating lots of crap.

Chip’s collection of original covers (eighty-eight, so far) are presently on exhibit through November 7th at the Society of Illustrators Museum in NYC, with an opening reception planned for October 7th. For more information and tickets, go HERE. And perhaps the very best part: DC Comics will publish a coffee table book featuring the collection next year with proceeds going to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Batman Exhibit

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Pen & Ink Portraits for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

SmithsonianLast year, I was commissioned by the Smithsonian Museum of American History to create a series of portraits for their new permanent exhibit, “American Enterprise”. A sampling of these drawings is featured above.

American EnterpriseAmerican Enterprise chronicles the tumultuous interaction of capitalism and democracy that resulted in the continual remaking of American business—and American life. Visitors will be immersed in the dramatic arc of labor, power, wealth, success, and failure in America in an 8,000-square-foot space focused on the role of business and innovation from the mid-1700s to the present. Through captivating objects and engaging interactive displays, visitors can trace the country’s development from a small, dependent agricultural nation to one of the world’s most vibrant economies.

The exhibition officially opened to the public on July 1st. My pen & ink portraits are featured on the entry walls for each of the four major eras in American business history chronicled (Merchant, Corporate, Consumer, Global), as well as the accompanying website and companion book, American Enterprise: A History of Business in America.

American EnterpriseAmerican Enterprise

Posted in Alexander Hamilton, American Enterprise, Andrew Carnegie, Ayn Rand, Celebrity, Corporate, Drawing, George Washington, hedcut, Illustration, John Kenneth Galbraith, Louis Brandeis, Milton Friedman, News, Pen & Ink, Pen & Ink Drawing, Pen & Ink Illustration, Pen & Ink Portrait, Pen and Ink, Portraits, Smithsonian, Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Museum of American History, Stipple, Stipple drawing, Stipple Illustration, Stipple Portrait, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Earth Day

Earth + Gas MaskBack in the late nineties, when times were a bit lean for many of us illustrators, I spent some of my “free” time beefing up my portfolio with new images – hoping to broaden my range a bit. Although I favored cartooning in college, I was probably best known professionally for my photo-realistic drawings.

In my effort to combine the two styles, I created this drawing of Earth wearing a gas mask. The line work is noticeably bolder and more whimsical, but I tried to keep the textures refined and life-like. I really liked this addition to my book, and I was able to convince a few clients to experiment with the new look – one example is the Ortega Salsa ad below –

Ortega Salsa

Posted in Drawing, Earth Day, Illustration, Line Art, News, Pen & Ink, Pen & Ink Drawing, Pen & Ink Illustration, Pen & Ink Portrait, Pen and Ink, Product, Stipple, Stipple drawing, Stipple Illustration, Stipple Portrait | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment