Julia Breckenreid
Charles Dickens
They said: 
There are 2 new books out about Charles Dickens. He was a bit of a rock star - popular, knew a lot of people, still has a good following. 
(I do love painting people, doing portraits, so was keen.)
We are looking for something like your "Talking With Dorothy" black and white style.
Perhaps Dickens surrounded by a group of people or in the middle of a London crowd...
In the rough stage, I always like to give my own take... In the middle above, I thought it might be interesting to show him between two shop windows, the reflections relating to the two books coming out, like two versions of him. They still wanted the crowd - ah well, you've always got to give it a shot!
(Did I mention that I am not a fan of doing crowd scenes? And on a quick turnaround especially? Well, the above right is my answer to a crowd - this way I was still able to have you still see Dickens somewhat largely and give the impression that there are many surrounding him.)
Here's the final:
This job was for Suzette Moyer and Jennifer DeCamp at The Tampa Bay Times - a full broadsheet cover for the travel/literature/arts Sunday section called Latitudes. Nice working with you both!
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Breckenreid is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!