Portrait of Jack Black and a Masked Man

illustrations c. Kevin Sprouls

Recently, a client of mine suggested I do a portrait of the actor, Jack Black, in the hedcut style that I pioneered for The Wall Street Journal. I’m always on the look-out for interesting characters to draw, so I took on this assignment. I’m a big fan of Mr. Black. I especially liked him in the film “Nacho Libre”, where he turns in a dazzling performance as a Mexican Luch a Libre wrestler. I also enjoyed his brilliant comic work in Tropic Thunder.

I went in search of the perfect image of this gifted actor. I had to work from two photos to arrive at the image I was seeking…


I wanted a Nacho look for him with the hair and attire, but the facial expression was key. So I pulled an image from a different setting and gave it alternative garb and scalp.

Once I got the photos blended to my liking, I went to work. Here is the resulting portrait:

You, Dear Reader, will have to let me know how I did. I was going for that classic, manic madness that only Jack Black can produce!

At about the same time that I was so engaged, another client of mine requested an interesting pair of portraits. His partner, the artist, Marcos Chaves, has an intriguing piece involving the manipulation of a flexible mask. My client needed two different drawings of Mr. Chaves for an intended GIF animation. I thought this was a unique way of presenting my work. The working photos…

Here are the two portraits I created:

When combined, the resulting animation is quite effective, I think…

My client made the GIF operate within the classic WSJ front-page format… Brilliant!

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