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Tom Petty for Rolling Stone

JULY 23, 2014
Earlier this month I got a call from Matthew Cooley at Rolling Stone to ask if I could paint Tom Petty for the Record review opener. 
Sketch. Nowadays I do paintings as sketches whenever the subject is simple enough to lend itself to this process. My thumbnails are usually on post-its.
Finish detail.
Dale Stephanos emailed me this shot of the painting in the magazine. Its still a thrill to see my work in there. (I subscribe to RS but was out of town and hadn't seen it yet). Later i had the ultimate thrill of seeing it being scrutinized by a fellow passenger on a plane.
ICON demo
For those who are interested, this was painted in the same manner as the first demo I did at ICON, oil over a loose charcoal drawing on bond paper.
In progress shot. I really didnt want to go much further than this but the face still needed work. The trick, of course, is knowing when to stop. How much detail to satisfy that this is a specific model Rickenbacker without having it pull attention away from the face?
The first time I ever went to RS, the art assistant told me my work wasn't of the kind they used.  I've been to the offices of Rolling Stone many times since then and stood in front of the work of so many great illustrators - I understand what she meant. Still- I wanted to be one of them.
Many years later, I'm still trying to get better. Getting in Rolling Stone  was a long time goal. I eventually achieved it a while back - but it's still a huge thrill to get that call.  Thanks Matthew and Joe at Rolling Stone for trusting me with this special piece of real estate.
© 2024 Robert Hunt