Tuesday, October 30, 2012

For my paper, I researched Ben Shahn, an illustrator from the early to mid twentieth century. His work focused largely on social issues, especially during the Great Depression where he also worked as a photographer for the government. One of his more famous pieces is a portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr. done for Time magazine, so for my piece I tried to emulate that style and depict Barack Obama.
This is the Time Magazine cover.

 This is the line work for Obama.

This is after applying the wash. I don't think I'm as good as Ben Shahn was, but it was an interesting technique to play around with. The wash in Shahn's piece seems to be dabbed on rather than painted so I used a sponge to apply the wash.

Researching Shahn's work was fascinating; the era of illustration he comes from is much different compared to the field today. The social awareness and power of his work makes today's work seem almost ornamental and extravagant.

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