Caricature/Portrait of Malcolm Gladwell – The Caricaturist’s blog reaches the Tipping Point.

In my previous post, I had promised a caricature of Malcolm Gladwell. Here it is 🙂

Caricature Portrait of Malcolm Gladwell, the Author of The Tipping Point, Blink, and What the Dog Saw.

Caricature Portrait of Malcolm Gladwell – Digital Painting – Actual Size: 10 inches by 12 inches at 300 dpi.

 

Why Malcolm Gladwell?

An apt question.

Here’s how it happened. I was talking to a friend in Pittsburgh, and she happened to mention Malcolm Gladwell. She had seen him on a TV show and she appeared impressed by him. I had heard of the guy’s name and somewhere in the far recesses of my mind and in my faded and almost invisible schema of the management world that I once belonged to, a forgotten node began pulsating. A decade ago, he had written something that had catapulted him into fame…this was all I remembered of him.

So I did a web-search and there he was. Looking dapper in that glorious cynosure of a hairdo. On his twitter account, he calls himself “The Skinny Canadian,” which of course is a euphemism for his vertically linear framework. He has a rather striking personality, and quite obviously, it immediately struck me that I must caricature him.

The first rough sketch was done right then and there – the two-minute sketch as the art-gurus would call it. I had Mr. Gladwell’s profile beaming at me from the monitor, and I made a rough. It was close but not what I really truly desired. This prompted me to make another sketch – this was done in Photoshop, and this was something that I could paint.

Rest was all painting. As you can see, I was focused on the face and skin… and I wanted to capture that look in his eyes. Unlike my full-length caricatures where fun is the primary goal I strive for; in this particular artwork, I wanted to take it nearer to a portrait in treatment and yet keep it a caricature that adds to the personality of Mr. Gladwell.

As this blog’s tradition dictates, I must now talk about Mr. Gladwell and his life thus far.

Malcolm Gladwell’s Shortest Biography on the Web:

I know I can’t beat the short and succinct autobiographical statement on Mr. Gladwell’s Twitter Account, which just reads “The Skinny Canadian.” I won’t even try to, because I think that there’s actually a lot more to him than the fact that he’s skinny and Canadian.

He was born in England, in 1963. In 1984, he graduated with a degree in History from the University of Toronto. His first job as a journalist was with The American Spectator (now that info byte is extra-special because as some of you know, I’ve been illustrating for The American Spectator for almost a-year-and-half now.) Then he wrote for another magazine before moving on to writing for The Washington Post. It was in 1996 that he began his career at The New Yorker.

Malcolm Gladwell’s Books:

Gladwell’s written 5 books. They are:

  1. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000),
  2. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005),
  3. Outliers: The Story of Success (2008),
  4. What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (2009),and
  5. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (2013).

(Source for all the above information is dear old Wikipedia here.)

Gladwell isn’t married, he writes about everyday stuff that happens in malls, in streets, in homes, and in corporate boardrooms – and I think he and his hair are super. BTW, when he was younger, his hair wasn’t that wild. In fact he used to look quite normal 🙂 But then, I wouldn’t care to caricature him then, would I?

 

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Caricatures: Mark Pryor and Tom Cotton – Cover Art for Talk Business & Politics Magazine.

This is one of the recent magazine-covers that I worked on. It was for the July/August Issue of Talk Business & Politics Magazine of Arkansas.

Caricatures of Mark Pryor and Tom Cotton - 2014 Senator Elections in Arkansas - Cover illustration for Talk Business & Politics.

Senator Mark Pryor and Congressman Tom Cotton fight it out in the 2014 Senator Elections of Arkansas. – Cover Illustration for the Talk Business & Politics Magazine.

 

US Senate Elections in Arkansas – 2014: Mark Pryor vs. Tom Cotton

The US Senate Elections in Arkansas for 2014 will see Senator Mark Pryor being challenged by Congressman Tom Cotton.

Here’s a quick biographical snapshot of the two politicians that you see in the boxing ring. Senator Mark Pryor is seeking a third term as senator. He is a Democrat, he’s recently been through a divorce, and has a background in finance. Republican Congressman Tom Cotton, on the other hand, is an army veteran, a lawyer; and of course, a lot younger than his opponent. Arkansas is considered to be Republican territory; and while in 2008 Mark Pryor had won without facing any Republican challenger, the story appears to be different this time. According to this article on Huffington post, it’s going to be a closely contested election.

About this Cover Illustration:

A few points that I’d like to draw your attention to – 1. The client required that I make their bodies almost equal in volume and that their faces came up to the same level. However, there’s a lot of difference between the body volumes and heights of the two gentlemen (Pryor is short and stout; Cotton is tall and wiry.) When I read the brief, I wondered, but I trusted the client’s viewpoint (he’s the one who knows the other side; we were too early in the process for me to see the article.) So I researched and realized that the elections are going to closely contested and that both the contestants are being considered equally powerful (here’s the link again.) So, showing them as “visual” equals in the boxing ring, made a lot of sense.

Notice their complexions too. Pryor’s has a ruddy hue while Cotton’s is pale – almost oriental. I thought that I’d color-code their boxing gear to show their political affiliations – and to add more color to the cover. I love color and while I love play with semi-realistic/realistic treatments in skin, hair, and clothes; I like to push the colors…just a little.

So, that ends the story of this cover.

Do visit the website and if you are interested in this very interesting fight that comes to a conclusion on November 4, 2014; find the magazine here.

Aunt Rosie’s Fables – The First Dozen (Stories for Kids) is Free to Download Today – View my Children’s Illustrations.

“Rose S. Ferguson’s Fables – The First Dozen” is available for a Free Download. Please note that it’s a promotional offer by the author and it will be available free only on May 27th and 28th.

If you want to check out my Children’s Illustrations along with twelve cute and funky children’s stories – download it now. The stories are cute, crazy, and completely off the track!

Click here to Download “Aunt Rosie’s Fables – The First Dozen” from Amazon.

You don’t need a Kindle to download it – Any hand-held device/computer will do. You can download the Free Kindle Reading App for any of the non-Kindle handheld devices (Tablets/Smartphones) from: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000493771)

Here’s the cover once again 🙂 (Yes. I just LOVE it!)

Cover Art for Aunt Rosie's Fables - The First Dozen

 

The 12 stories are:
1. Supercool Sewster and his Super-dream 
2. Emoti and Emoto – The Mushroom-dwellers 
3. Moms are Cool! 
4. When Fibby was Caught Lying 
5. Romulus – The Rodent Soldier 
6. When Terry Challenged Harry 
7. Rolly – The Tourist from Antarctica 
8. Rooney Reinster Learned a Lesson 
9. Mumbo – The Mouse-elf 
10. How Justin Rooster became a Good Singer? 
11. Zick, Zack, Zuck! 
12. Smucko and Sparky – An Odd Friendship 

My personal favorites are:

  • Romulus – The Rodent Soldier
  • Rooney Reinster Learned a Lesson, and
  • How Justin Rooster became a Good Singer?

So go check it out 🙂

This week’s going to be uber-busy. I’m doing two magazine covers and one interior illustration. The first week of June’s going to be a little relaxed with just one book cover artwork for my dear old friend who’s an awesome client too. So, I’ll reappear in a week from now. Until then…go meet all those fun characters in “Aunt Rosie’s Fables – The First Dozen!”

I know that a post on “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” is pending…perhaps the next one.

The Creative Clutter of a Caricaturist’s Corner :)

Creative Clutter?

It better be creative – because if it isn’t, all my lady-associates of -iL and non-iL kind, will have the last laugh. Those voices still ring loud and clear in my ears. “Her room is so untidy,” “her kitchen is so disorganized,” “there’s dust on the table,” and then the sin that overshadowed all other sins…”She made my cartoon!”

One good reason to be born a man in India is that if you don’t tidy up your place, nobody comes after you with a verbal dagger! There are days when I honestly don’t care – when I’d rather sit and draw or write for the whole day and most of the night, without wanting to clean up the damn place…and trust me, that’s the time when these goddesses of perfection would turn up – as though someone had been tattling on me.

But all these critical yet otherwise good-natured ladies who look down their beautifully crafted Nicole Kidman noses on me and my spherical knobby nose, haven’t been listening to Dr. Albert Einstein.

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

(If you didn’t get it, you might be one of the uncluttered lot.)

I’ve met some OCD-ishly uncluttered people, and I can’t fault Einstein’s reasoning. One spends so much time organizing stuff only for aesthetic reasons, that there’s little time left to do anything else. It’s true for me – and I truly think that the uncluttered geniuses must exist only to prove the rule that Einstein stopped short of formulating.

I’d rather stay cluttered and ignore the sniggering, giggling critics. And honestly, my cluttered desk does help me think more clearly. Ironical – but true. So, let me present another addition to the clutter on a hurriedly cleared portion of my desk.

American Spectator Obama Crowns himself - Issue April 2014 on my desk

Wondering why the desk doesn’t appear cluttered to you?

Here’s the reason why.

In the pictures, you don’t see my other two desks, where I push my clutter when I want to take a picture to post here. Who knows when one of the ladies  whom I so highly speak of, and who watch my every step hawkishly, arrive here and discover another missile that they could add to their stash of ammunition.

I’ve been busy with some writing,  and a caricature of Gul Panag (the AAP candidate from Chandigarh,) which I created for a Game App that a gentleman is creating for Android devices. When he sends me a link of the game, I’ll share it here 🙂

That’s all folks. I go back to re-cluttering my desk. Right now it’s too organized for me 😦

Caricature/Pen Drawing of a Killer.

A bit of drawing…

Caricature Cartoon Sketch Pen and ink drawing of a murderer, assassin, killer - a generally evil man

I drew this in a restaurant. We had gone to the restaurant for a cup of tea and while we waited for our order to arrive, I saw this man sitting a few tables away from us. He was there with his wife and his son who just refused to sit down. The mother was trying to stop the child from running around but the father wasn’t content with his wife’s efforts to curb the child’s enthusiasm. He sat there, glaring at his wife, and this was the look on his face. He didn’t wear a turban, he didn’t have that bunch of keys hanging on the side of his face, he didn’t have a skull-earring dangling from one of his ears, he also didn’t have a dagger in his hand, but that look in his eyes – I haven’t exaggerated it one bit.

This morning I read about parents who kill their children, and I was reminded of that face. According to the data, every year 3000 cases of parents killing their offsprings are reported in the US alone. Fathers are more prone to killing their sons, and mothers their daughters. Fortunately, this number is relatively small – most parents love their children and would give their lives to save their kids.  Yet it makes me think, how many parents are there who lie on the continuum that stretches between life-givers and life-takers? A black and bleak thought to ponder upon.

These dark musings aside, this man definitely isn’t one of the good eggs.

Note: I sketched this right then and there – I had a ballpoint pen with blue ink…so the actual drawing is blue and it was done on a page of my diary. In blue, he looks particularly menacing.

A bit of writing…still under wraps. I am writing stories and I am enjoying it immensely. I think Mr. Farland’s Daily Kicks have made me burn my cloak of fear – I always loved telling stories, now I am going to write them down for the whole world to read. More on that later 🙂

And…

A bit of experimenting. A friend made an FB post on Oppia (Google’s new content authoring tool,) so I checked out Oppia.org and authored a sample exploration. Understanding their interface was a struggle at first, but after five or six tries, I got the hang of it. The tedium waylaid me and I forgot to do a self-review (I often don’t – I am in too much of a hurry to move on to the next cool thing.) So after having forgotten all about it, a rap on the knuckles made me aware of my complacency. But thanks to the lady who took out time to write, I corrected the error.

So if you want to learn nothing much about the Color Wheel but something about how Oppia works, check it out here.

Additionally, I’ve been working on some magazine illustrations. Yesterday I finished working on a cover, which I’ll share with you after the magazine is on the stands.

Caricatures of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity for the American Spectator Magazine.

A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to caricature two most talked about talk-show hosts of America: Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Most of my readers are aware of the pains I take to hide my ability to travel through time. But as they say, it’s impossible for talent to stay hidden for long. Someone must’ve blabbed about my ability to time-travel, to the American Spectator Magazine. They hired me and my time-machine to transport Limbaugh and Hannity into the past, dress them up as the nobility of those times, and transform them into pamphleteers!

While I usually don’t like to take passengers on my trips into the past, I couldn’t refuse this particular offer. After all, these two distinguished gentlemen have been striving hard to make America see the pluses of Conservative thought. I also knew that they’ve each got about 15 million viewers of their talk-shows, and if only 1% of their viewers thought that they looked awesome in their retro-gear, and decided to hire me as their fashion-designer, I’d be famous too.

So this caricaturist hauled up this precious cargo to the past, dressed ’em up in wigs’n frills, made ’em stand in front of a printing press, handed ’em those pamphlets to pose with – and shot this picture. Then she got ’em back, took out her wand and used the obliviate spell to wipe their memories of this event. (This is why they’d deny ever accompanying me on this trip!)

Here’s a snapshot of the magazine on my desk 🙂

Caricatures-Rush-Limbaugh-Sean-Hannity-American-Spectator-November-2013

Click for Larger View.

I know that you’d like to see the details of their dresses (especially, if you were to hire me as your fashion-designer,) so here’s the closeup.

Caricatures of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity - Talk Show hosts - Illustrated for the American Spectator Magazine - November 2013 issue.

Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity

Both these gentlemen have their websites too. Check them out at:

I’ll return with more next week, when Bigsaw Classic arrives on the App Store 🙂 In the meantime, download and play with Bigsaw Designer – a custom picture puzzle-making machine for your iPad.

Cover Art -The American Spectator Magazine October 2013 Issue.

First…

———— An update ————

(for the regular readers, others please skip.)

For the last two months, I’ve been working on something very different and something really detailed…something that has kept me away from creating caricatures for this blog (ok…I did Merkel’s caricature, but other than hers, all the other caricatures that I’ve been doing are for that other project…and oh, that project really has nothing to do with caricatures.) Confused? You should’ve heeded my warning.

———— Update ends ———–

Now let me tell you about my recent work for The American Spectator magazine. I painted the cover page of the October issue of the magazine, which features three of the most admired Presidents of the United States. The forever young and handsome John F. Kennedy, the White House Cowboy Ronald Reagan, and the silent but strong Calvin Coolidge.

My copies arrived two days ago, and just before I finished work last night, I took this picture of it.

The American Spectator Magazine Issue October 2013 on my Desk.

The American Spectator Magazine Issue October 2013 on my Desk. The Cover Features Three Past US Presidents – John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Calvin Coolidge. (Click to enlarge.)

The Story of the Cover’s Creation

When I learned that The American Spectator would like to me to paint the three Presidents together, I felt really happy. I love to paint caricatures with stories, and painting three well-known faces in the same picture along with a story that made them look like they were friends-forever, was something that made me want to drop everything else and work on it.

I sent in the sketch. While everything else in the sketch remained the same as what you see here, I had an open window behind President Reagan and you could see the earth through it. My idea was that these guys could get together only in heaven – and this would add to the effect. This of course, didn’t make to the final painting – nor did Reagan’s hat on a peg – because that would have me add a wall behind them, and a wall would make their environment appear claustrophobic. I am sure that even in heaven, the American Presidents would be given beautiful, spacious quarters… so I decided to add those French Windows looking out into a haze of clouds.

Painting the Caricatures of the Three Presidents

Painting John F. Kennedy’s Caricature

I had drawn President Kennedy‘s face before, so I knew his face well. What I didn’t know was the exact color of his hair. I checked out a lot of pictures of his, and his hair looked different in every one of them. It varied from black, to dark brown, to light brown, to reddish-brown, to golden.  I still don’t know. But he looks like himself and that’s good enough for me 🙂

(President Kennedy’s Black and White Caricature done a couple of years ago.)

Painting Ronald Reagan’s Caricature

President Reagan’s face is tough to caricature. If a caricature-artist wants to challenge himself  (or herself – excuse the stereotyping, but truth be told, most of our kind are men,) he should try caricaturing Reagan’s face. I had to do a lot of research to figure out what he liked to wear as casuals. (In fact, I came across a picture in which he was wearing checks in a meeting with Margaret Thatcher.) I realized that he loved horses and I thought that his cowboy getup in denims would be just right for the occasion. He could’ve returned from a pegasus-ride, or could be going for one. (Fellow Artists, note that according to the light outside of the windows, it could be late morning or early afternoon)

Painting Calvin Coolidge’s Caricature

President Calvin Coolidge was a visual enigma. I had sketched him on the right side of the page, which meant that I should show his left profile. After hours of research, I came to the conclusion that because President Coolidge had little hair on the left side of his head, he always got his portraits painted/photographs taken to show the right side of his head.  I had absolutely no idea what his left profile looked like, until I came upon a 1924 video of one of his public addresses (after he had fixed the Great Depression?) and in that video he twice turned to show his left profile to the camera. I know that he must’ve berated himself for it later, but what was done was done – and a happy caricaturist returned to her drawing board – knowing exactly what to paint.

And the Concept…

…that their topic of discussion is this specific article about JFK actually being a conservative (and this is why JFK’s got the magazine in his hand,) was super awesome – it came from the super-creative Managing Editor of the magazine! It just made the picture-puzzle fit. Speaking of picture-puzzles, I am reminded of the project…I need to go back to work.

Meanwhile, here’s the image closer up.

Cover Art for the October 2013 Issue of the American Spectator Magazine Presidents John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Calvin Coolidge.

Two other Interesting facts:

More later…

And oh,

do you want to know how “really” Newton happened to discover gravity? I have the inside scoop…return if you are interested 🙂

Caricature/Cartoon – Hillary Clinton on her way to The White House

Everyone knows that Hillary Clinton will be running for President in the 2016 Elections. Period.

Here’s my take on the story.

Caricature cartoon in color - Hillary clinton - democratic candidate - US Presidential elections - 2016 - with donkey and 3 feathers in her cap.

Will Hillary run for the 2016 Presidential Elections?

Here are my reasons for believing that she will.
  1. In 2006, she was among the Democratic candidate hopefuls and narrowly lost to Barack Obama. This confirms that she is interested in becoming the President of the US.
  2. In 2007, she took up the position of the Secretary of State and happily co-existed and co-managed the international affairs of the US along with President Obama. This kept her in the public eye and made her a much stronger candidate than before.
  3. She took a break from a job which she was performing rather nicely. The only reason that makes sense to me is that she wanted to spend her time preparing herself for the next elections.
If the reasons given by me don’t convince you, read 5 Signs that Hillary will run for President here.

Hillary Clinton’s Dressing sense…

…has often been criticized. I’ll forever continue to wonder why it is so easy for men to get away with the same outfit (note that the only thing that ever changes in President Obama’s clothes is the color) while women fret over what they have to wear. I have nothing against Hillary dressing up in oddly constructed pant-suits and even in the outfit that you see in her caricature. I think that she still dresses up a lot better than Michelle Obama.
This deserves a closeup view of her outfit in this caricature.
Caricature cartoon color drawing painting of Hillary clinton - running for the 2016 US presidential elections - shown here with a donkey.
However, if you like women to look like made-up dolls and have the time and energy to read about Clinton’s fashion faux-pas, click here… or search for “Hillary Clinton’s Fashion Faux Pas”.

About Hillary’s Caricature

(This bit should be of interest to the artists.)

I had been planning on doing Hillary’s caricature for a very long time, but it wasn’t until last week that I really attached myself to my seat and decided to plunge into this caricaturing exercise. This is a digitally painted illustration done for the purpose of print (it measures 12 inches x 12 inches at 300 dpi.) I first did a rough sketch (a sort of doodle), then made a final sketch, scanned it, and then painted it in Photoshop CS6.

I approached this illustration more as an artwork than just a caricature. The somewhat bewildered donkey representing the democrats, at the left; the happy and alert Hillary checking her progress, in the middle; and the wooden signboard at the right – all on top of a hill, with cloudy skies behind – a composition that comes together nicely. The colors balance one another out (check the warmer hues canceling out the cooler ones) except in one place – in Hillary’s outfit, where I used never-wear-together colors, clothes, and accessories. The pearls and the formal jacket (in…GREEN?) create a jarring effect when coupled with her BLUE Jeans and high-ankle leather cowboy boots. It exaggerates her oft-criticized fashion sense, and strengthens the caricature.

Now let us ponder upon a more important question, one that can be answered only by Samantha the Witch.

Will Hillary Clinton become the next President of the United States?

I think the US has tried a “first” by electing a non-white President for the first time in its history and given him two terms to prove that a first works. Whether or not Hillary Clinton will become the first woman President of the US will depend on whether people really gained from their first-first. While I am sure that Hillary has a strong resume, I don’t think people care about resumes. I guess people would want a change – and that could help the Republican candidate (Though I don’t know if there’s any Republican with an image as strong as Hillary’s.)
This is precisely why Hillary is aiming to reach the White House, once again; except that if she succeeds, she’ll not be there as the First Lady (one of the many feathers in her hat,) but as the President of the US. I wonder what Bill Clinton will be called then. The First Gentleman of America? I guess the geniuses of the White House will put their heads together and come up with an answer when such a situation arises.
Wondering…Why Hillary?

A Quick Biographical Sketch of Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has many feathers in her cap (and you can see three of those in her caricature above.) She’s been the First Lady of the US, a two-term US Senator, and the US Secretary of State; but there’s more. She’s got a Law Degree from Yale Law School where she met her husband Bill Clinton who she married in 1975. She’s held high-paying jobs all her life and there were times when she earned more than Bill Clinton.
  • Interestingly Hillary was born in a family with conservative values and when she was a student she was a Republican.
  •  Hillary’s marriage almost fell apart during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
  •  You can find a detailed biography of Hillary Clinton here.
And finally,

Hillary in Recent News

  • Hillary’s handling of the Benghazi incident led to some criticism, and even though the 2016 elections appear to be far away, some Republicans are already raking up the issue. It appears that everyone including the Republicans believe that she’ll run.
  • Recently Obama and Hillary Clinton met for lunch. This meeting is being seen as a sign of Obama supporting Hillary in the 2016 race.
  • She said that Huma Abedin, the wife of NYC Mayoral Hopeful Anthony Weiner, is like a daughter to her. While this may not be an important piece of news for you, but I mention it here so that you check out Anthony Weiner’s pole-dance caricature here and leave my blog laughing 🙂

Book Cover Art for BG Hope’s Body-switch Novellas.

I’ve been somewhat busy and rather unwell (yes, I’ve been watching “Mind Your Language” – almost 4 decades after it was first telecast and, I confess that despite my inability to forget that I come from a family that fought for India’s independence,  I just love Mr. Jeremy Brown, played by Barry Evans.)

Here’s the stuff that kept me busy the past two weeks:

I created a couple of book-covers or more specifically, novel-covers for a fantastic fantasy writer, B.G. Hope. Next, I worked on a Magazine Illustration, and now I’m neck-deep into a detailed color caricature (name of the subject withheld in the interest of curiosity.)

Of these, I can present only the novel-covers here, because the september issue of the magazine that would carry the illustration has not yet gone to press, let alone hit the stands; and the caricature is not yet done. The novel covers however, now adorn the books of Ms. B. G. Hope, and so I’m ethically free to present them here.

Book Cover: Ciaran & Harith –  A Body-switch Novella by B.G. Hope

Painted in Photoshop CS6. I first made a sketch as per the concept, sent it to the author for her approval, and then painted the cover in Photoshop.

Book cover art for the novel Ciaran and Harith -fantasy book - by BG Hope

The Concept:

Samantha the sweet witch switches the bodies of two unsuspecting men, thoroughly unhappy with their own lives. The men however are as different as apples and oranges or…to beat the cliche’…as a kindle eBooks and traditional paper books! The cover depicts Samantha putting a spell on the protagonists. Wondering what happens after the switch? You get tickled in your stomach at every turn of the page, but don’t take my word for it.
Kindlers – please find the book here.
Apple-munchers – please find it here.
All others, please find it here.

About the book:

Two men who have nothing in common including their sexual orientation, find themselves in each-other’s bodies. Follow them on their quest to get their bodies back, as their new routines lead them into challenging situations with comic outcomes.

And a few words from the caricaturist: 
“The bewitching body-switch saga”– The Caricaturist

Book Cover: Johnny & Marian –  A Body-switch Novella by B.G. Hope

Again, painted in Photoshop. The goal was to make it look different and yet look part of the body-switch series by the author. I changed the color-scheme and instead of showing the face of the witch, brought her eyes into focus.

Illustration for Novel Cover (Cover Art) - for Johnny and Marian by B. G. Hope.

The Concept:

Once again Samantha the witch, switches the bodies of two strangers – a man and a woman, and in this book, their sexual orientation is  similar –  they both like men. The woman (Marian) isn’t the kind of woman that the Johnny ever dreamed of becoming (yes, he’d love to be a woman,) and the Johnny is a lot different from the kind of men Marian has known. Does the switch work? Check out the book at:

Kindlers – please find the book here.
Apple-munchers – please find it here.
All others, please find it here.

About the book:

Two strangers bored with their routines, rediscover themselves when a crafty witch’s spell switches their bodies. Struggling to live each other’s lives, they land themselves in one comic situation after another.

“A fantastical comedy of errors!” – The Caricaturist

B. G. Hope’s Webpage and Blog.

Cover Art -The American Spectator Magazine July-August 2013 Issue.

I was earlier planning to post a caricature of Julia Gillard along with my story of why she resigned from her position as the Australian Prime-Minister, but when I received my copies of the American Spectator Magazine’s July-August issue, I couldn’t resist from sharing these pictures here.

Let me start by showing you the magazine.

The American Spectator Magazine Cover - July August 2013 Issue Cover Art - The Radio Family by Shafali Anand

The American Spectator – July-August Issue 2013 on my Desk. (Click to enlarge.)

The Story of the Cover’s Creation

When I heard from the magazine that they’d like me to do the cover for the July/Aug issue for them, I felt thrilled yet a bit anxious. A cover is, well, a COVER. I could live with having forgotten to paint those draw-strings on Red’s pajamas, but when an image is destined to become the cover of a magazine, it asks for a lot more dedication from the artist.

The requirement was – an American family of 1940s/50s, gathered around the radio. Sounds simple, right? Let us analyze.

An American family? That was easy. I am so completely into Hollywood movies, American News (CBS News is on my top-bar,) and American sitcoms that I often think of myself as a virtual American.

But an American family of 1940s/50s? I wasn’t even born in the 40s and 50s. In fact, my mom must have been a little girl back then. So, I had to research. I had to research the radio, the dresses, the toys, the papered walls, the floral couches, the pooch (who would’ve been a cocker-spaniel if my friend Nancy wouldn’t have told me that the middle-class family in those days would likely own a mutt and not a spainel,) and the colors that would make it look more like the 1940s.

So, upon receiving the requirement, I did my research, got it all into a sketch, and sent it over for approval. After they okayed it I began painting…and I did little more than paint for the next many many many hours. Eventually, a very tired, zombie-like me sent the artwork to the Magazine , plopped down on the bed and got ported to Atlantis. The next morning, I heard from them that they were happy with it. I took a small break from work and then returned to work on a Graphic-design project.

Then two days ago, I received the copies of the magazine. The cover looked even better than I thought it would. The Design team had done such a great job on it. The subtle, low-intensity colors in the Title, the subtitle, and the top and bottom bars integrate with the picture seamlessly. I was so happy when I looked at it that I decided to photograph it and post it along with the artwork.

Here’s the image closer up.

Cover Art for the American Spectator Magazine - July August 2013 Issue - The Radio family of 1940s - Shafali

I’ll return with Ms. Gillard’s story soon 🙂 Until then keep drawing to smile.