The next morning, Monday, I woke up a little groggy to a message in my inbox titled “Newsweek / Urgent / portrait commission”, and wish I hadn’t stayed up so late the night before. The magazine was going to publish a Special Issue on the historic event and they needed the portrait the next day.
I immediately started sketching Bin Laden, trying to come up with an idea that would capture the moment. While drawing his face from the reference photos, I instinctively painted over his eyes, and this ended up being the sketch that made it to the cover.
Click through to see the rest of Edel’s sketches and his design process.