My friend and I were at Java Jive on Ponce de Leon in Atlanta for brunch the other morning on the suggestion of a friend. The food ran the usual gamut of brunch and the atmosphere took on the nature of the 50's. They specialized in their homemade biscuits which were the defining note on the meal. As we were cleaning the debris on our plates and lightly sipping what remained of our coffee the corner of my eye spied something unique. I turned my head to see a gentleman wearing a red scarf and large hipster glasses. The ensemble was basic with a white tee and blue jeans, but the sense was that this carried character beyond early morning dress apathy. I knew that I had to illustrate this look, and not just the look because it was so simple, but the person who made it work. My friend Ruth had to be the courageous one and ask this gentleman if I could photograph him as I am much too shy.

He was gracious and soft spoken. As I was photographing, which lasted maybe 60 seconds, I was describing my work and the fashion series that has been progressing. We exchanged information and it turns out this gentleman had just played a show at the Masquerade the night before, promoting his latest album.

Raj (aka Lushlife) is a hip hop artist from Philly and you can find a great review of his latest release here.

Here is the final illustration and below is the process that it endured.

I start with hard-board such as masonite and seal it with an acrylic wash. Then I draw the image on and do an ink wash of some of the major darks. After this is dried I lay in all of the base colors with heavy puddles of watercolor. As the water is sitting on the surface of the board I start to lay in white acrylic to layer in the highlights. Again I wait for the board to be dry and I finish the washes of color with more solid/defining layers.