This was a commission I got from the University of Pennsylvania, to paint a portrait of the head of the neuroscience graduate program, on the occasion of his retirement. He is an expert on the crab nervous system, and an enthusiast of all things crab.
They have a centuries-long tradition of portraiture at the university, although it seems to have lost some steam in the last few decades. My brother and I decided to try to revive it. We wanted to emulate the classical style of a lot of the older portraits, but this one was done digitally in Photoshop.
It was meant to be a surprise for his retirement party, so I went to his lectures covertly to study his face and mannerisms. Along with that, and random snapshots and a mirror, I built this image.