Making of Putin Portrait

 

Americas Quarterly commissioned me to make a portrait of Vladimir Putin and his questionable interest in Latin America

The concept: Putin is like a sleazy boyfriend. Latin America, like the naive girlfriend. To impress her, Putin gets a tattoo of Latin America on his shoulder and arm. He's wooing her, but the whole thing is very suspicious.

The concept: Putin is like a sleazy boyfriend. Latin America, like the naive girlfriend. To impress her, Putin gets a tattoo of Latin America on his shoulder and arm. He's wooing her, but the whole thing is very suspicious.

I started with the head, exploring the expression and following the sketch for the pose.

I started with the head, exploring the expression and following
the sketch for the pose.

Studying photos of Putin, the expression starts to develop.

Studying photos of Putin, the expression starts to develop.

Adding the rest of the body and legs. The tattoo artist's hands have yet to be included.

Adding the rest of the body and legs. The tattoo artist's hands have yet to be included.

Here is the complete painted sculpt. I only sculpted as much as would show in the final image. No feet necessary.

Here is the complete painted sculpt. I only sculpted as much as would show in the final image. No feet necessary.

Making a test image in Maxwell Render, I bring that image into photoshop and start marking up where I think I need to make changes to the shapes and angles.

Making a test image in Maxwell Render, I bring that image into photoshop and start marking up where I think I need to make changes to the shapes and angles.

An alternate angle shows how I set up the scene. A white plane near the bottom is used to reflect light back up into his face to soften the harsh shadows. 

An alternate angle shows how I set up the scene. A white plane near the bottom is used to reflect light back up into his face to soften the harsh shadows. 

This shows the 2 light sources used for this image. I prefer to use simple lighting when possible. It makes for a cleaner and more dramatic image.

 

The final image

The final image