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Monkeys on my Back

OCTOBER 2, 2006
Cover for Mother Jones
I have found it really interesting that over the years jobs tend to come in thematic pairs or bunches. I recently received a few landscape assignments and often get asked to do similar takes on several portraits in a given week. This past week was no different as I received two chimpanzee jobs. One was the cover of Mother Jones and the other the cover of Time. Not this time for Time; they went in another direction, but Mother Jones will run...Here are the images.
Rough sketch for a cover story on Chimps and Humans and their DNA break.
Working values into the sketch
One possible solution...
Approved Sketch
Final artwork
When I do a piece and I'm pleased with it, I'm not so concerned that it runs. Of course, I would prefer it did, but the fact that I made the deadline and solved the problem I was asked to makes it a great opportunity to demonstrate my value to a client. Onto the next one... Today I received a call to illustrate a clown. I hope it's not clown week. Finally, the choice to go with a different cover was a sound one and given the two images, I would have gone with the current cover as well. Infants are cuter than adults.
For Edel, a close-up. Edel was really great with positive comments when this piece came in. At the end of a painting marathon I'm often wrecked and filled with doubt and second guessing. Thanks for the lift Edel.
After I was finished I thought the guy looked VERY close to Oscar Del La Hoya. Portraits are funny are'nt they? One or two slight brush strokes and it can go from a likeness to a portrait of Carrot Top.