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.

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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”.

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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.

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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

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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

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Watercolor Portrait of Eurythmics – Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart

EurythmicsBack in 1985, I was commissioned by Rolling Stone Magazine to create a watercolor portrait of Eurythmics – Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart. Their fifth studio album, “Be Yourself Tonight,” was released that year to great reviews and popularity. I loved the album myself…I’m sure I wore the grooves out listening to it over and over again. (And of course, I owned a cassette version for my car too.)

Around this time, I had just started to take on commissions outside my local Los Angeles area. Obviously, this was way before we had computers that could scan our original drawings, and overnight delivery by Federal Express was relatively new and made some clients with inflexible deadlines pretty nervous. As it happens, Rolling Stone had quite a bit of lead time for this project, and being such a huge fan – I was thrilled to take it on!

Nostalgia - Annie LennoxHere we are twenty-nine years later, and I am just as excited about this week’s release of Lennox’s newest album, “Nostalgia”.

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Portrait of Martine Rothblatt

Watercolor portrait of Martine Rothblatt by Randy GlassNew York Magazine - Martine RothblattI see that Martine Rothblatt adorns the cover of the newest issue of New York Magazine. I realize that she’s not quite a household name – yet – but she’s pretty darn fascinating and this profile is a great read. On her extensive list of accomplishments, she created Sirius Radio back in the ’90s, and today is the CEO of United Therapeutics Corporation.

More recently, Rothblatt and UTC founded Lung Biotechnology, a separate resource focusing on therapies and treatments of lung disease. This past winter, I had the pleasure of working with Martine, to create her portrait – plus several members of her team for the launch of their new website, which you can check out here.

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World Cup Final

Pen & ink stipple illustration of a soccer / football player for ModeloThe 2014 World Cup has finally come to an end, so congrats to Germany! Let’s all exhale collectively now that it’s over, and turn our attentions back to what’s really important…my illustration work.

Back in 1993, I created a series of three sports-related portraits for a Modelo Beer billboard campaign. (I wrote about another drawing in the series a while back, and you can check out that posting here.) For the Soccer (Football) player, I asked my buddy, Phil to throw on soccer garb and pose. He actually struck a balletic position for my reference photos – upright with his arms stretched above him. It was easy enough to simply turn him sideways as I drew.  I rendered the ball separately and pasted it in place…with paste (we’re talking twenty years ago, folks).

I remember just loving the challenge of creating the intricate textures of his gloves and waistband in my pen & ink stippling technique, something I’m not quite sure I’d have the patience for today.

Posted in Drawing, FIFA, Football, News, Pen & Ink, Pen & Ink Drawing, Pen & Ink Illustration, Pen & Ink Portrait, Pen and Ink, Portraits, Soccer, Sports, Stipple, Stipple drawing, Stipple Illustration, Stipple Portrait, World Cup, World Cup Finals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment