Monday, October 18, 2010

Yul Brynner

As per a request made on my illustration Facebook page , this week's "Tough Guy" portrait is Yul Brynner who managed a career in movies as diverse as The King and I, The Magnificent Seven, and Westworld.

Aside from his movie roles, the thing I remembered the most about Brynner growing up was that creepy anti-smoking PSA he did that ran after he died; featuring Brynner basically copping to the fact that his smoking was killing him, and that the message he was recording would have its greatest impact after he had died.

It was really unsettling to me as a kid--especially when they ran it during cartoons and shows aimed at kids. And while I can't say it was a major reason I never picked up the habit (I was much too docile a kid to ever really consider it), Yul's visage probably nestled itself somewhere in the back of my kid-sized brain, always reminding he how nasty cigarettes were.

This piece is a bit of a "cheat"--I had done a portrait of Brynner for a Time Out New York "Hot Seat" assignment (long story), so I had the basic art for this already done when he was requested as the next subject in the "Tough Guy" series. All I had to do was crop it a bit, change the colors, and add some details and it was done.

Since it was so easy and quick doing this one, I had time to do another Tough Guy, which will be seen here tomorrow!

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