Here's an alternate version of the 'Sadr City' memorial illustration. I think I'm partial to finishing this version instead of the previous post, which has the finished cameo of Spc. Robert R. Arsiaga in the upper left hand corner. I think this demonstrates my methodology of creating choices and problems in order to resolve an image themeatically. Sometimes I'll have a very settled idea of how to approach a drawing or a cartoon, and the image will be exhausted of energy before I start. This is the challenge of creating a portrait from photographs; imbuing an image with life while still acknowledging that the client has the right to a likeness.
Like anyone else, I abhor a bad portrait. I've traveled this road before though; in my years working an open air studio at the Rio and creating role model portraits for Saludos Hispanos magazine, I've drawn or painted close to two thousand portraits. For the last seven years (the lifespan of my cartooning work), I've been repelled by the idea of creating portraits. Now I feel called back to doing portrait and figure work again.
Casey Sheehan and Ahmed "Mel" Cason detail.
Maintaining a spiritual sensibility towards drawing I think can bring this sort of work to a different place. Also, I rest all of this work on prayer. Chris and I visited the perpetual adoration chapel at St. John The Baptist in Jordan yesterday evening, and what I took away from there was a sense that I shouldn't be too sure of what I'm doing, and instead allow God to guide the finished product. I'm never too sure of what I'm doing anyway, so I thought that was pretty good advice.