Saturday, February 27, 2010

Obama FDR 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!


Blogger Trevor Spencer said...

This truly is amazing!

its cool to see the different versions you did!

5:58 PM  
Blogger Nori Tominaga said...

unbelievable. It's great how you can go from one look to another so quickly.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Zeke said...

Raw talent. Love it

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Immediately one of my favorites.

10:36 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

damn jason that's hilarious and awesome!

2:09 AM  
Blogger Jubhubmubfub said...

I love how his ears hold up the hat!

2:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Jason you make very long days! Unbelieveble how hard worker you are, and that your caricatures no matter what the deadline is are everytime of a unbelieveble (sky)high level. This is again a masterpiece!

4:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Jason you make very long days! Unbelieveble how hard worker you are, and that your caricatures no matter what the deadline is are everytime of a unbelieveble (sky)high level. This is again a masterpiece!

4:50 AM  


9:20 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Wow Jason, this is amazing how quick you were able to paint this. Thank you for bringing us into your world by showing us your process, I really enjoyed it. The painting is phenomenal, beautiful job Jason! Bravo!

10:14 AM  
Blogger Charles DA COSTA said...

beautiful piece !
Very interesting and very funny !
I love to see different versions !

2:59 PM  
Blogger W. K. Moore said...

Excellent process!.. excellent result. You can tell this is a Kristol production.

6:52 PM  
Blogger LarsER Arts said...

Jason, what can I say but it is great to see the steps and your thought process. I work my regular J.O.B 10-6pm come home eat and then of to my studio until 3-4 in the morning during my crush time! Thank Youi for sharring and the detail in the ears are spot on!!

9:13 PM  
Blogger alexis said...

is this all digital?

9:22 PM  
Blogger Thomas Fluharty said...

LOVE IT. Love the way you stick w/ what you do and push yourself. it paid off. I've always loved the rosevelt image of him w/ that cigar. Great job!!!

9:30 PM  
Blogger Tel said...

" I had a blast . . . I love my job! "
...... and it shows - superb work as always Jason.

9:43 PM  
Blogger Damion009 said...

I was going to make a list of all the reasons why I hate how awesome you are! but after seeing this, I might have to make one saying why I love the fuck out of you.!.!.! good works man. good Fucking works!

10:01 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

I never tire of the way you can give the big O different expressions that i have yet to see him pull, with amazing likeness. It's like you capture him in a jar, get him to perform, paint him, then let him go to manage the Nation for a while. :-)

2:33 AM  
Blogger Jenea said...

Jason, it's so Amazing!! What inspired you, to make all this Awesome and great artwork???

5:20 AM  
Blogger A. Riabovitchev said...

Great post Jason!o)

7:39 AM  
Blogger Patrick Strogulski said...

Fantastic illustration !!! Thanks for sharing the process.

8:45 AM  
Blogger David Malan said...

I also dig it. I think both faces are cool, the earlier profile one is actually very nice.
Phillip is a stud too.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Dennis Dame said...

Great work Jason!! Love it!

12:54 PM  
Blogger S. Weasel said...

I found your blog by Googling your name on this Standard illustration. Spectacular work!

4:57 PM  
Blogger Alucard said...

I'm speechless your works are so amazing. I love all your Obama paintings.

2:49 AM  
Blogger Walter Davenport said...

Very good to see the step by step of your work, not only in technique but in the problem, which actually is the biggest challenge and that they (the client and you) are in conformity.
The end result refeja undoubtedly

1:31 PM  
Blogger Silex said...

Funny how he has that "lobotomized" look, whereas he started out gleeful.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Dianne Petrina said...

So exciting Jason! Very Nice!

9:56 PM  

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