So here's an update with a cover I painted for the American Academy of Art's Planner for the 2010-2011 school year. The focus of the competition is to represent the school (and Chicago if desirable) in pretty much any way you want. Based on the traditional approach of the school and it's legacy, I thought a more realistic approach would be suitable. *Realism is all relative though because a little painted man has popped out of his painting and complained about his role. This is a painting of a man painting a painting, of a man painting a painting.
I enjoyed the story of this piece and I believe the fact that it kind of breaks the 4th wall for the viewer is an interesting aspect. One of my goals for this painting was to continue to use my own photo reference, but only to use them as a guide, not a bible. Things like opacity, variation of color in skin and achieving some correct looking darks were some of my guiding principles for this piece.
There is a variant of the school logo, I thought both worked pretty well, portraying different characteristics of the school and the medium.
I've continued to touch up this piece since it was scanned, and hope to enter it into the Illustration department show at school.
Gouache/Watercolor on Illustration Board (10.5" x 15.5")