America's 1st Freedom: Richard Daley

I was very fortunate to be contacted by America's 1st Freedom back in March; they wanted a portrait of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley for their "First Things First" spread. America's 1st Freedom is a National Rifle Association magazine. Having grown up in a hunting and fishing family, I feel strongly about the right to bear arms. However, I also see the problems with guns in the wrong hands; it's a tough situation to mediate. But according to the article, Mayor Daley is advocating his drastic approach even though it is highly likely to be deemed unconstitutional, and he will continue his support of harsh firearm laws after this ruling. It seems even the Supreme Court can't get through to him.

Playing off the themes of immaturity and ignorance, I worked up these sketches:
As you can see, I had no qualms about showing Daley in a negative light; the AD felt the same way about the mayor's demeanor. Thanks to the AD for the photo reference as well! Here's a quick rundown (clockwise): temper tantrum, pouting schoolboy, blank face with plugged ears (grumpy alternative). I also thumbnailed possible layouts for the AD to work off of based on the sketches as well as some alternative compositions for the portrait.

These sketches were a bit rough due to a busy schedule, but the AD was cool about it. Thanks, Clay!

Pouting Daley was chosen for the final art, and I was thrilled. One reason noted was "I love the idea of putting him in a beanie in our mag." Ha ha!


Sadly, the beanie had to go as the NRA gave it the axe. Ah well, what can you do? Also, there is a very subtle color difference after I lost the beanie because I warmed up the colors a bit. Looking at the sketch, I think I like the initial likeness more; he's too pretty in vector :)

Thanks for reading, and thanks to Clay for supporting the beanie until the very end!

Enjoy the Day,