The Angel behind every menswear page on Tumblr and Instagram.

I was first introduced to Angel more than a year ago. At the time I was looking for Men to illustrate for a collection of Menswear Illustrations.

He graciously chatted on the phone with me for a while and immediately we came up with a plan.

Angel Bespoke Illustration

Above, you see the result of a lot of preparation. In fact, there was more that we had hoped to include but time did not permit us.

Below, let's take a look at a bit of the process. We will see some of the sketches that you can find in 'The Sunflowerman Sketchbook' (sign up below to get the free copy). If you have a copy you can find the Angel Bespoke sketches on pages 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 32.

Angel Bespoke sketch

Several affectations/quirks/unique-attributes stood out about Angel.

  1. The hands in the jacket pockets- a must
  2. The contrappasto- wiki definition
  3. Tortoise Shell frames- absolutely
  4. Sprezzatura (or just sprezz)- wouldn't be Angel without it
  5. Angel signature loafers- I couldn't live with myself if I left those out
Angel Bespoke sketch

I gathered several photographs of Angel, which is easy to do by a quick search on Tumblr.

With those as reference I was able to start a cache of imagery to build the portrait I wanted to create.

The 'sitting' Angel below was an attempt to test out a different direction than the standard Angel pose but it really took away from his personality.

Angel Bespoke sketch

Angel drew aesthetic inspiration from the great 'Once Upon A Time In America.' We wanted to take from that to style the illustration.

We merged the modern sprezzatura with the film's classic dress. Specifically adapting the tuxedo worn so handsomely in the movie.

The sketch below ultimately inspired the final version of the Angel Bespoke illustration.

Angel Bespoke sketch

As my process tends to go, I began the illustration with a pencil under-painting. The details are expressed in minute graphite scratches and the values are loosely applied to provide me with a general sense of direction for the painting.

The Painting process itself will be covered in a future post.

Angel Bespoke drawing

To get a free copy of The Sunflowerman Sketchbook and to stay up to date on Sunflowerman Menswear Illustrations Sign Up by clicking the button below.