This is a painting of George Clooney I did for my LA Weekly comic 'Los Angelopolis.'
This was a new process for me. Here's what I did:
First, I primed a piece of illustration board with black gesso. Usually I use a brush, but if I'm in a hurry I use an old card. Blockbuster in this case but an old art school I.D. works best.
Next I draw the image lightly with a pencil. I don't have an image of this stage because pencil lines on black gesso are hard to see (even in person!)
When the pencil drawing looks reasonably like the subject, then I am ready to paint. I like to paint white over black. I don't know why. Maybe because I did a lot of lino-cut printmaking in college... I just seem to get more interesting shapes and lines when I'm thinking this way. Basically, it's a continuation of the drawing process.
I have caricatured George Clooney before, so I started off with a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do with his features. The joke I'm doing for 'Los Angelopolis' depends on George looking heroic and dashing, which is not hard to do with this guy, just add ten percent to the chin.
After the black and white image is done I put down a slushy acrylic mixture to warm up the face, particularly the side planes where I knew I would be dealing with shadows.
The final step is oil paint! My technique for finishing with oil is to smush around a bunch of colors, then add a few details here and there. Not much of a technique really. But if the black and white underpainting (drawing, really) bears a likeness, so will the final painting.
This is how it appeared for publication: