Pil Lae-Soo occupies a nebulous moral position in the story, and as “I’m” researching his background at the moment (or rather, my unpaid research assistant and Philly-based archival fox G. is narrowing down the stuff I need to read so that I don’t sit in front of a stack of books crying; I am very bad at research), I had a go at making him a profile picture so as to get a better idea of what he looks like.
Originally Pil Lae-Soo looked like Ken Watanabe in my head, but that was more a place-holder because Ken Watanabe is Japanese and Pil Lae-Soo (as you can probably tell from his name) is supposed to be Korean and to be honest even using Ken Watanabe as a place-holder there was supremely offensive. Sorry. What I wanted was someone with a Ken Watanabe-esque feel, which sounds desperately poncy and for which I can only apologise.
I had a bit of a Google around for Korean men of Pil Lae-Soo’s time period, but there aren’t many photographs and none of the resolution I needed; in the end I found a photo of a young couple taken in 1968 which looked about right, and made a little effort to age up the male face presented in it (as Pil Lae-Soo is meant to be in his 40s).
One thing doing all these headshots in “fake, old photo” style has allowed me to do is mess around with different ways of producing the effect. This portrait was painted entirely in three shades of khaki, using hatching, and then backgrounds, filters, posterizing and grains put in to create the newsprint effect. It is different to the limited-palette colouring I used on Maddy Richards and Matthew Needham, and to the single-colour hatching I used for Fleur du Mal, and I think it suits the newsprint style.
As I’ve done four of these now (there are a lot more characters to go though!), here’s a quick retrospective.