Irish Politics: Editorial

Editorial political illustration for the Sunday Independent newspaper: Fine Gael and Fianna Fail’s leaders, Leo Varadkar and Micheal Martin ponder the best time to make their next move. Article by Jody Corcoran

editorial illustration of leo varadkar fine gael playing chess with micheal martin fianna fail
Above: The published illustration
editorial newspaper illustration detail of leo varadkar fine gael
Above: Just Leo Varadkar, of Fine Gael
editorial newspaper illustration detail of Micheal Martin Fianna Fail
Above: Just Micheal Martin, Fianna Fail

editorial illustration of leo varadkar fine gael playing chess with micheal martin fianna failsunday independent

Process Images

leo varadkar and micheal martin editorial illustration
Above: The Pre-colour version
Above: I decided I wanted to overlay some white-line clocks late on, so I quickly sketched and scanned this, and inverted the tones

Above and Below: The sketch was approved at this point—even though I hadn’t seen the finished copy/text. My further queries revealed that actually, neither politician should look more or less relaxed than the other—both are deep in thought, and neither should really have the upper hand. Yes, Leo has the advantage of a Queen—the most powerful piece—but only 2 pieces in total (minority); whereas Micheal has lots of pieces (majority) that can possibly—as Jody Corcoran put it—“swamp Leo at any moment.” So I made changes to the characters. I think if I’d gone ahead in the extreme character mode of the approved sketch it would have been much more ‘cartoony.’ As it turned out, I now think I could have made it even more serious and formal looking. But it was a tight deadline, took 12 hours of concentrated work to complete, and… the client is very happy!

sketch

editorial illustration of leo varadkar fine gael playing chess with micheal martin fianna fail
Above: The published illustration

Client: The Sunday Independent newspaper
Illustrator: John White
Painting: Goauche & pencil, on board
Colouring & finishing: Photoshop