Intro

The BBC’s immaculate pastiche spy thriller The Hour has been one of the iconic TV shows of this summer. We asked Stanley Chow to create an artwork around the show’s star character, Bel Rowley, played by Romola Garai.

Stanley is a perfect fit for the task of representing the mid-20th-century stylings of The Hour, having created illustrations of Don Draper, Peggy Olson and Joan Holloway from Mad Men that took the blogosphere and Twitter by storm last year. His vector take on caricature lifts it beyond mere parody to something defining and often beautiful.

As Stanley reveals his creative process for this artwork – which is also the process he uses for all his portrait illustrations – you’ll learn how you too can create a striking and iconic portrait, whatever media or software you’re using.

“Although many of my pieces are categorised as caricatures,” he says, “for me it’s more about getting the likeness than it is to exaggerate a person’s features to make them look funny.” Besides giving you handy tips for capturing that likeness, Stanley will gives pointers on capturing something of the essence of your subject and their context.

Stanley admits he didn’t originally watch The Hour on TV, but “thanks to BBC iPlayer and Google, I was brought up to speed to complete the task.”