A Portrait Commission with a Twist of Noir

Not unlike many of the superheros he so admires, David has a conventional day job, but transforms into something completely extraordinary and different come evening-- in this case, a writer.  Exploring politics, the nature of justice, religion, and more in dystopian short stories and complicated fantasy works, he is also quite the "nerd"-- a lover of Batman, Dr. Who, and strong protagonists who seek to leave the world a better place despite (or perhaps because of) their inner conflicts.  When he requested that I paint an imaginative portrait for him, we originally talked about doing with Dieselpunk what I did with Steampunk in Steam Bryan, but as I looked through many different reference photos, I was drawn more and more to Art Deco style and the very urban portraits painted by Tamara de Lempicka.  David, after all, does enjoy wearing bow-ties and a leather blazer, has a lovely watch and uses cologne-- he is quite the classy gentleman too.  As I began envisioning a gritty film noir atmosphere in the piece, David himself was inspired to begin writing down his ideas for a story about "D", a vigilante who is trying to remain a helpful, decent, free-thinker under an extremely oppressive, corporate-run political dystopia.  As D winds up stealing supplies to help a starving family and having to use his eclectic arsenal of weapons more often than he would like, he feels conflicted-- is he doing too much?  Too little?  How can he, one individual, really change anything?

As David's writing project and my painting project developed, we had many conversations over tea that managed to influence both. . . the perfect casual collaboration.  The resulting portrait is David as "D", the vigilante and man of thought and justice. . .

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