Twenty-five years ago, I was commissioned to create a portrait of Fox for Universal Studios. I honestly don’t recall what they used the drawing for. I do remember that the Back to the Future films were an awfully big deal at the time, but the assignment was to draw Michael as himself – not as a particular character.
Back then, watercolor / guache was my preferred medium for portrait work. I was also building a portfolio of pen & ink stipple drawings that were a style favored by ad agencies for product illustration. This project was one of my first attempts to apply my stipple techniques to portraiture.
I sat in on Michael’s photo shoot with photographer Tony Costa. We enjoyed a pretty friendly rapport, I think, mostly because we were about the same size (and still able to buy some of our clothes in the boys department).
I’ve actually done very few portraits in this tighter, more traditional stippling technique since then – preferring the more precise dot patterns of the Wall Street Journal’s “hedcut” style, but I always liked the way this drawing turned out, and the client did too.