Caricature of Barack Obama mid 2011

Barak Obama - the thinker

Image of Barack Obama that I started in my sketchbook with color pencil and finished off in Photoshop. I think I’m going to have to draw another one, this one got so overworked. Photoshop helped with some seriously bad color choices I had in places, but couldn’t make the piece more loose. The Photoshop file has about a dozen layers, and I built out the volumes of his head in monotone overlaid on top of the original color.

Below is a combination of some of the the tonal and color correction layers from the  Photoshop file for comparison. It felt like building up layers of paint in an oil painting, but unfortunately, a digital image doesn’t have that great tactile physicality that a painting does. I don’t have a pressure sensitive tablet to apply the “paint” either, so building up tone did seem to take quite a while.

 tonal architecture for "Barak Obama - thinking" image

The original pencil sketch is below for comparison. It was kinda hard to know when to stop, and the layers and layers of color pencil made it harder and harder to make corrections. Most of the pencils were also kind of “waxy,” so in addition for it to be hard to add additional color overlays after a while, it was also hard to physically erase the marks. So after a while I decided it would be easier to pull it all together with Photoshop. It didn’t end up being 100% successful, but unfortunately it ended up not as “loose” as the pencil sketch.

Pencil sketch for "Barack Obama - thinking"

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