Oscar Project

I've decided that I need a new, enormous, long term personal project. I really liked my presidents, so I figured I'd do a new collection of black and white portraits. The trick with this kind of thing, though, is that I need decent reference, and it has to be relatively easily accessible. Also, I'd like it to be somewhere within my realm of interest. So as it happens, I love watching movies, and I really, really love watching the Oscars -- I know it's completely ridiculous, but it's so much fun! I can't help myself every year!

So, my new project is to draw every single Best Actor winner since the beginning. If it goes well, it will be followed by every single best Actress winner since the beginning. Since the oscars are in their 84 year this year, that's.... a lot of drawings. But if I finish at least one a week, I should finish sometime next year! Like the presidents project, it will be a great way for me to keep my drawing fresh, and I'll have a nifty little thing in the end. With the presidents, I knew what they all looked like, so I think it was easier. With many of the first actors, I am not going to be familiar with their looks in advance, making for a really fun challenge.

I'm going to try to draw each actor in costume for the film in which they won. First up: Emil Jannings, for "The Last Command" (In 1927).


So, I don't usually post my final drawings, but it strikes me that that's a shame. This is the piece that came out of the studies I was working on last week. It's part of a bunch of contributions to drum up excitement for the second issue of gratuitous type, a small Brooklyn magazine. The wonderful AD, Elana Schlenker, asked only that the art embody the concept of the number two. I tried to push things a bit -- the concept isn't incredibly obvious, but it's there. I really want to try and force people to look.

I always go this far with my drawings, and then I paint right on top of them. I am definitely more of a draftsman than a painter, and I am always either working with that or fighting it. I do scan all of the drawings for each piece before I throw color down, for my own records. I am planning a subtle color palette for this piece, but I also really just like it simply in black and whites.

Also, I don't usually include animals, and I'm really pleased with the way the fox turned out.


Some studies for a new project. I was doing a lot of facial hair, and then somehow Daniel Day-Lewis snuck on in there. He does that.

I think I like the guy on the top right with the mustache, but I'm going to keep at it.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I'm enjoying the holiday spirit that began to saturate the air the instant we finished eating the turkey.