Illustration for a film review of All Is Lost in this month’s issue of The New Republic.
All Is Lost is a survival film by J. C. Chandor about a man lost at sea. Redford is the lone star of the film.
Quite an honour to do an illustration of Redford, he’s an exceptional person and actor who has done a lot for the independent film industry. I tried a different process for the portrait, constructing it using various reference images instead of painting from a single source.
Thanks to Ben Avny for art direction! You can check out the article here.
Henry has organised for a (f a s hi o n)model to sit in at the studio from 2-4 pm every Sunday. Yesterday was Enna. It’s open to anyone who wants to paint/draw and posters will be put up around town for upcoming sessions.
On another note, I have been getting a lot of questions about style and techniques lately, mostly from students or people starting out.
I don’t like repeating myself so I’ve carefully answered one that somebody asked me on facebook so that everyone else can see it:
Hi man, i’m very impressed with all your work, the narrative, the colours, the impact and specially your unique style.
I hope you have time to read this…
I’m just begining to illustrate and i’m trying to find my own style, but in that “road” i haven’t have a lot of success. I have some sketches an WIPs but when i try to finish, i crash with an obstacle: How the hell i will paint this?. Flat? Realistic? maybe a 3D-look? Sketchy? ( i don’t know if that word exist).That’s my problem, and i can’t go foward because of that.
So, i came to you because your work denotes a kind of looseness (freedom in the strokes, fluency), and that’s what i want. I hope you can give me Tips, advices, maybe if you have videos of you process, whatever you think can help me, i would be grateful.
I’ll wait for your answer. Greetings from Colombia
Very sorry for the late reply, it’s hard to see notifications for new messages on my facebook page. I would recommend emailing me next time if you have specific questions…
You should know that I am still learning and constantly practicing everyday to improve myself…
If you are truly starting out on this road, then I would advise you to set goals. Set goals for what you want to learn and try to achieve them every week/month. Be warned; you will fail. Each and every time you try something new, you are going to fail and it will suck. But quite frankly that is how we learn. This applies to almost everything and not just illustration. Keep your drawings organized in some way, such as a sketch book, so that you can look back on it every week or so and assess your own improvement. Drawing/painting technically well is a mechanical process and can be learnt at any age, just like playing sports or going to the gym. Structure and discipline yourself to spend at least 1-2 hours a day on your craft- Practice observational skills from life/still life. Don’t skip your foundations. You can’t communicate what you imagine if you are technically incapable of doing so. Read books, watch documentaries, go for walks or do whatever you can to get your mind thinking and imagining without direct influence from trendy video games/movies etc. Study from masters and the types of artists you are interested in, but be aware and courteous of your contemporaries. Showcase work you are proud to call your own, not work that is made to look like others.
You say “How the hell i will paint this?. Flat? Realistic? maybe a 3D-look? Sketchy? “- do it however you feel like. Do it because you’ll have fun doing it. Shit, it doesn’t even have to be a painting. Have you tried collage? You’re starting out and this is the best time to go crazy and experiment with different mediums and looks too. Don’t settle down yet, it’s too early to know what you want.
Be hard on yourself if you are very serious about developing. And when you find it hard to be hard on yourself, don’t be afraid to ask for critique or another person’s opinion (but not your mum’s (unless she’s a hard ass).). If you aren’t in an institution or around others who can give you constructive feedback, there are always people willing to help you on the internet. The internet really gives us the freedom to not only say but to listen, too (like now, hopefully).
Your style will come from what you are trying to say, the things you like and what you ate for breakfast (and also tomorrow’s breakfast). Your style is you and who you want to be. Get to know yourself and be honest with who you are and what you want to make. I can’t tell you who you are. Draw from your own experiences and environment. Let every piece of work you make say a little something about yourself whenever you can. I understand that perhaps this might not be possible for every kind of illustration job, some might ask of you to be someone completely different- so learn to adapt and change, but do not resort to mimicry as a means to an end.
Ultimately this “road” will take time. Be patient and don’t rush it. This is you discovering yourself. Seriously, it sounds cheesy but it’s an ongoing process and you will undoubtedly change and develop, discovering and rediscovering yourself over and over. It’s your “road”, construct it carefully and enjoy the fuck out of that road. The surface is what we see, but it’s the foundational layers underneath that make it strong. Do you want potholes in your road? - You’ll get them if you rush it.
Regards from NZ,
tl;dr - take your time and read the answer patiently. I won’t sum it up for you.
Sorry for the lame analogy at the end; I’m a sucker for lame analogies.
These are pretty much all the things I would like to have said to myself a couple of years ago when I was so worried (some days I still am) about things like style or what I should be doing.
I hope this helps anyone who is also starting out on this road of art and illustration and maybe help ease a little bit of your anxieties.
We made this to sell at the Auckland Zinefest yesterday which is held annually at St Kevins Arcade on K road.
It was a great day and we all had a lot of fun. So many great zines and got to meet a ton of wonderful people and awesome artists.
The purpose of this anthology was to give ourselves a project to work for where we could share our work with the lovely residents of Auckland that may not be aware of the local comics and illustration scene. We managed to sell a decent amount of books but as we weren’t doing this for much of a profit we didn’t manage to break even with our printing costs.
We still have 15 books left. We’re selling the remaining copies online for only $10 USD (shipping included).
If you’d like to grab a copy and support us, please send me an email saying that you are interested to:
I’ll get back to you with payment info etc.
Details of the book:
The book is 14.8 cm x 21 cm, 32 pages (self cover) and is printed on 120 gsm uncoated stock. saddle stitch binding.
Regarding the cover- It is a reflection of the process we went through when making this anthology and how I felt at 5am when I was designing the book the day before printing. We had planned for 7 of us to be in it but due to unforeseen circumstances and other obligations at the last minute; 3 could not make it. They will forever be in our memories, as figments. comic sans.