This illustration for Tennis Magazine’s “The Complete Player” column continues the story of the author of this piece which I illustrated for them back in August of 2005. Recalling the tennis-filled days of his youth, the author describes how he ultimately lost a cherished friendship, thanks to his hubris and his gossiping about winning a friendly practice match. This of course, is totally based on Norman Rockwell’s classic “Gossips” Saturday Evening Post cover from 1948. Apologies to Mr. Rockwell!
I was reading a good Rockwell book while researching this illo, and I’m convinced that he would have embraced the advent of the computer and digital photography with open arms.

He would still be painting, but in his book he laments how the most exciting parts are the first few days when he’s sketching and drawing–the rest of it just being a series of technical steps…
He also made such good use of photo reference, while never being a slave to it. He specifically warns against it. You really need to see the photos next to his work to see how much work he put into getting great poses and expressions from his models.
Another funny bit was how he mentioned that his wife would often sit in his studio and read books to him, and how nice it was that they got to share so many stories together. He’d totally have his iPod jammed with audiobooks and podcasts…

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