Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou is Professor of Hebrew Bible & Ancient Religion at Exeter University and when I was asked to do a caricature of her for this cover I knew she'd done a TV series for the BBC about the bible, but I must admit I hadn't seen it. So I watched the series (3 programmes) and thought they were all excellent - really interesting and entertaining as well as informative. The first is on iPlayer here and I think they are all on YouTube if you can't view iPlayer. Watch them!
The illustration was fun to do, we wanted to suggest the bible text coming to life in some way, in the end I went with probably the simplest and most obvious way of doing that but I think it really works. The text is all Hebrew from the bible, but I have no clue what it says! Plus it's great to have another woman on the cover.
Everyone has done a caricature of Christopher Walken - except me, until now! Seven Psychopaths is a great film, very funny. It's by the same writer/director of In Bruges which is one of my all time favourites. This is not quite that good, but has an amazing cast including Walken of course. Had to do a pic of him after watching it:
Really pleased with the look I got with this one as I played about with the layers in Photoshop, painting on different layers and changing the layer settings to see what different effects I could get. This is the trumpeter Terence Blanchard who is doing an opera about boxer Emile Griffith (not familiar with either of them at all until now). I did the rough sketch on Saturday and sent it off to the WSJ, then basically I spent all of Sunday painting it up (rough sketch below):
I put a bright orange background colour under the sketch, and basically played about with putting layers below and above the sketch, with various settings (multiply, soft light, overlay etc) to build up the right values and help me find the look I was after. Fun!
This was a tricky one as there's no real caricature in this at all and as I don't really have my own 'style' of illustrating people yet (unlike someone like Howard McWilliam who has been doing covers for The Week for years, and who I have to publicly thank for recommending me to them!).
The idea from the editorial team was a line of London taxis for hire outside the Palace of Westminster, all driven by Lords in their ermine robes (all to do with the current lobbying scandal of course). I knew it was going to be hard to get the perspective of both elements (line of cabs, background building) to look right together, obviously this isn't a naturalistic illustration so it didn't have to be accurate but they couldn't look totally unrelated or the whole thing would look awkward.
I also consciously tried to make this as colourful as I could as I tend to be a bit weak on colour (working on it!) and I think colour wise this looks ok.
The good news is I'm going to be doing the cover for the first The Week of each month, so I'm really excited to have the chance to improve my work for them and get better as an illustrator :)
This was fun, just started out as an idea for a caricature of a very contrast-y photo but without using black. I thought using a really bright purple as the darkest colour in a picture might be something cool to try. This is the result, I like it!