Vintage Socialist Style Portrait Commission

Vintage Socialist Style Portrait Commission

A longtime friend and follower of this blog commissioned this digital painting recently. Being my first digital commission and a direct result of blogging about my adventure with learning digital art media, it seems right to share it here. It was great fun to make!

I am now attempting to pick up Illustrator and finding it incredibly frustrating. I had more initial familiarity with Photoshop when I began this journey, but even so, I’m finding the learning curve in Illustrator to be incredibly steep. I’m at the point in Photoshop now where I’m not sure what else to deliberately learn about the software because I’m able to accomplish everything I set out to do. I have a feeling that any new tools I learn there will be stumbled upon through my continued practice and use.

Illustrator seems a different beast entirely in that there appears to be a definite right way and wrong way to approach building art in it. Tutorials are hard to follow on youtube because (from what I’ve seen) they tend to explore how to use individual tools out of any useful context, NOT how to approach the problem of making art imagery. For example, what I’m seeing is “How to use the pen tool” when what I want to see is “Planning for Art-making in Illustrator; A step by step guide to building a finished image” or something like that. Granted, some videos get pretty close, but it is so time consuming and frustrating ferreting out the gems from the gravel. I watched ten videos before I heard anyone mention that I should build my images from the contour inward. My assessment is that this will take much more time to get familiar with than Photoshop…





The land of the giants was barren and dry, but they had no cause to care so long as the farms of men could slake their hunger with sheep and cows carried off in the night.

One evening, as old farmer Hamhock stood at his front door whistling musically for his dog, he caught sight of a giant running away in the moonlight with his fingers in his ears and a pained look on his face. When he repeated the experiment night after night, it became clear that giants cannot abide music, and so farmer Hamhock called for a meeting with his neighbors and they began to plot.

Early the next morning, the farmers led the way across their borders and into the land of giants with the local junior high school jazz band in tow. The students kept their instruments muffled as they approached the sleeping giants, creeping slowly and carefully across the rocks.

When old Hamhock gave the signal, the students broke into a truly abrasive jazz rendition of “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain” that instantly blasted the giants out of their peaceful slumber and into what could be perceived as an interpretive dance of agony. Within seconds, the giants were frozen into a striking tableau of stone that more than one student hoped to take credit for in art class Monday morning.