Some Recent Stuff

September 27th, 2010 | Posted in Freelancing

Last week the Sunday Mailbag question was about how I seem to do a lot of political type work. Well, it IS an election year, and so I’ve been getting my fair share of projects relating to politics. I must say the conservatives are spending a lot more money than the liberals this time around… almost all my projects recently have been for the right side of the aisle. Here is a the progression of one from last month. This more painted style caricature of Sen. Harry Reid is being used for some kind of campaign promotion:

This is one of a few rough sketches that the client approved to go forward. I wasn’t trying too hard with the likeness in any of them… the point was trying to get the “scene” down. Sorry seem to have trashed the other sketches.

Here’s the tighter sketch for final approval. Click for a closer look,,,

Click for a closer look…

The image above I saved and sent out to the client because they asked for a rare look at the work in progress. I hate doing that and usually discourage it, because invariably the client comes back with a “please make sure the final is nice and clean without pencil lines and with a tighter painting”. Then I have to bite my tongue and say “Never fear, this is just a partially finished image and the final will reflect my usual finished work quality” when instead I am thinking “No shit, Sherlock. YOU are the one who asked for a look at an unfinished piece. Sheesh.”

Here’s the finished artwork. Click for a closer look…


  1. Stan says:

    Wow. really really nice.

  2. Sagan Lacy says:

    Fantastic stuff!

  3. Hey Tom,
    great job as usual. Hope to see you at the convention in Vegas.


  4. Nate says:

    Amazing work as usual, Tom! I don’t know how you achieve such realism in some of your work. When you draw a car (just for example), do you use a straight edge or anything to get the perfection of the vehicle, or is that just all freehand?

    • Tom says:

      In PhotoShop I do use selections for some of the ellipses like the tires and some of the edges of mechanical things like vehicles, but I use them sparingly. The more freehand painting you do the more it looks like art and not some super slick airbrush and frisket technical rendering.

      Do things like vehicles just takes some time and patience.

      • Nate says:

        I’m guessing it does take a lot of patience. I spent awhile zooming in on things like the grill on this car, and it’s perfect. Incredible stuff. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I was always curious about that with your work.

  5. Great stuff as usual Tom! I recently had to say that exact line to a client! “Don’t worry, the finish will actually look finished and clean. This is just an initial rough.” 😉

  6. julio cesar naranjo says:

    Hi Tom great piece, more realistic comparing to your frequent works. Ive done a recent work for a computers company and they wanted something rough before i finish it, and you can imagine what happens, “but this is not the final piece you have to do it better its like rough” i thought REALLY your kidding me right, DAAA. Its just an endless subject. Take care.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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