Michael Phelps


So the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics have started! Yes, I know swimming is a Summer Olympics event, and that we won't be seeing any of Michael Phelps this time round (except he still seems to slip into commercials here and there...), but I created this piece a few months ago, and now seemed like the most appropriate time to post it. If I had to wait two years, I'd probably have lost it and it'd never see the light of day. And who's going to complain about looking at Michael Phelps, anyway?

It continues the portrait series I've been working on (Obama, Britney, Armstrong...) and it also continues the experimentation I've been doing with combining rendered and vector elements. Originally, I planned to draw a school of fish swimming with/fleeing from Phelps with the same attention and detail I rendered the swimmer. Last minute, I decided to try something a little different. I like the way the fish become more of a pattern upon the piece. Ideally, I'd like to have screen printed the fish directly on top of the original piece, but I don't have the facilities or nerve to do that...


Here's the original drawing, too. I've chosen to include it just so you can see how little I'm actually doing with photoshop. Everything tonal is done by hand. I basically just fill in large areas with color (background-aqua, phelps-peach; etc). The fish I drew on a different sheet of paper, scanned and then traced in Illustrator. The drawing is really doing the "heavy-lifting" of the piece. The color/computer aspect of the piece is really simplistic.

And since this blog is about my running also, I should also mention that this post is also extra appropriate to post since tonight is my first night of swimming for cross-training. I've got my speedo and cap all ready, wish me luck!

Anyway, Happy Olympics! Maybe I'll get a portrait of Apolo Ohno done in the next fourteen days...