Barack Obama (Happy Birthday!) OC

This piece was originally meant as a gift for a good friend and family member, but I wanted to share it with you.

I was going to buy an Obama Poster, but although I like Shepard Fairey's version (you've seen it, trust me), the eyebrows seemed a bit too dark and the jaw too wide. It bugged me enough to make my own. And I knew if I was going to stand up to Shepard Fairey, I was going to have to a dang good job.

Shepard's influences are similar to my own (graffiti + skate + propaganda), but Shepard's work has a much darker feel.

I began by sketching out the highlights and shadows like I usually do. Often, in order to bring the gender differences to the forefront, I'll draw females and males differently. Males frequently have straighter, angular lines, and females will have smooth curves. I spent nearly two months on this piece off and on (in between a lot of other projects), and let the my mood guide me a whole lot more. Combining smooth and straight lines had an interesting effect, making a much more painterly feel.

The result is a piece that is much more layered and complicated than my usual work, and the muted tones allow me to pull out variations in his skin that Shepard wasn't able to achieve because of his 4-colour palette.

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