I feel like I'm touting AMC's original shows a bit much now that I've done a Breaking Bad piece as well as this new Mad Men piece. Still, the fact is that they are two of the most well-crafted shows on television. In fact, both won at the Emmys last night, with Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul winning for their performances on Breaking Bad and Mad Men winning Writing and Dramatic Series.
With season 4 of Mad Men in full swing, I felt like taking a stab at a portrait of the man himself, Don Draper. Throughout the series, Draper has always been steadfast and confident, an enigma at his workplace. However, season 4 has shown the slight cracks in his facade as his family dissolves and his lifestyle catches up to him, something which was especially evident in last night's episode Waldorf Stories.
I wanted to show this version of Draper, alone and at the office after hours because there's no real home to go back to.It turns out Jon Hamm is really tough to draw. It seemed to be about lining up the features just right between the ridiculously good hair and the uber-masculine jawline.
After some struggling, I got what felt like the right fit. In wanting to show the weaker side of Draper, I also decided to show the stubble grown out a bit, his tie loosened, and wrinkles in his shirt. I feel like its really like letting his guard down now that's alone.When it came time to color, I fooled around with different color schemes for a while before settling on a palette that was softer and reminiscent of the 60s. Like my previous Predators piece, I decided to try out a very strong key light on one side of the face. When I was starting this, I took reference photos of myself and also looked at pictures from Scorsese's Shutter Island, because of its super dramatic lighting.I also began experimenting with more gradients and blurs, which is normally something I shy away from in fear that its over-Photoshopped. But I'm very pleased with the way they worked and how the gradients create a sort of film noir slice of light across Draper's face.Overall, this piece ended up being a real success for me in terms of experimentation and trying to capture a likeness.
Now for something completely different, I am working on an image for an album cover with knights and a dragon!