A Sunflowerman and The Follow Fashion Collaboration.
Ronnie was a special illustration. With his abundant collection of collaborations choosing one to focus on was a dilemma. Not too long after discussions began it was apparent that Asics had to be the featured collaboration in the illustration. It is difficult not to see Asics sneakers when you hear the name Ronnie Fieg. Fieg's humble approach to fame is suggested in the vulnerable posture and slouched shoulders. As well as describing his attitude the movement of the image leads you to the all important Asics adorning Fieg's feet.
When illustrating someone's face the first place to begin is with a deep breath. That's just what I had to do when perusing google for images of Ronnie Fieg's face. There were few high resolution options and to add to the limitations I needed this specific angle of his face- not quite 45º and not portrait. Lately my luck has been amazing with finding just the right image to reference but Fieg was playing hard to find.
After several days of lightly searching I had built up a collection of high res to low res images that captured numerous angles and emotions. By this time I had already put off completing the painting for weeks and it needed to be complete so I decided to fake it. The collection of images I had allowed me to imagine what he might look like at the angle I wanted.
The process began by lightly sketching in the form and posture with a graphite. As the proportions aligned I made the lines more crisp and defined. When everything was outlined I cross-hatched the values in to create the underpainting. Throughout the sketching and underpainting process i use a .5mm mechanical pencil.
Before the first washes of watercolor were applied I quickly sprayed the drawing with Krylon Workable Fixatif to lessen the likelihood of smudging the graphite. I always use the largest brush I can possibly manage for the first washes of color which happened to be a size 12 round. Eventually working my way down to a tiny tiny 3/0 round. Backgrounds are my least favorite part of a painting so I usually take the opportunity to play around and have a bit of freedom with the paint. While most of the painting is very controlled I paint the background with a wet on wet technique to create the beautiful blooms.
read more about Ronnie Fieg at TheFollowFashion.com